Fewer parking spots in Fairfax County’s future?

A tiered system for parking requirements tied to development density is being considered in Fairfax County, Virginia.

“Parking Reimagined” is a 3-tier system being weighed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors that aims to discourage the use of vehicles in Tysons Corner, Dulles and other high-density areas, like Fairfax Center and Merrifield.

All areas the project calls “Tier 3” may not have to adhere to the current minimum parking requirement, which is one parking spot per three people, according to Michael Davis, parking program manager with Fairfax County’s land development services department. That could result in fewer parking spots in areas designated “Tier 3.”

"Parking Reimagined' chart
CLICK CHART TO ENLARGE: A ‘conceptual framework’ of parking requirements, as proposed in the “Parking Reimagined” project. (Courtesy Fairfax County)

Davis provided an update on the project at a Land Use Policy Committee meeting on Tuesday.

One type of vehicle that would be welcome: electric ones.

The “Parking Reimagined” project calls for Tier 3 areas to have more electric vehicle charging stations and plenty of places to park bicycles.

Davis said 80% Fairfax County would be designated Tier 1, where parking requirements already in place now would be largely unchanged. In Tier 1, the non-transit areas are required to have four spaces per 1,000 square feet, and transit areas are required to have 2.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet.

In Tier 2, areas where there is not a lot of public transit, maximum parking requirements would be enforced. In non-transit areas, three spaces per 1,000 square feet is required. In transit areas, three spaces per 1,000 square feet is the maximum.

Map of Fairfax County
CLICK TO MAP TO ENLARGE: Potential tiers and transit areas as defined by the “Parking Reimagined” project. (Courtesy Fairfax County)

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay indicated he liked many parts of the project, saying it’s better than a “one size fits all approach.”

The county began asking for the community’s input and feedback last year as it began to reassess off-street parking and loading regulations.

More public hearings are planned for the this fall.

WTOP’s Matt Small contributed to this report.

Kyle Cooper

Anchor and reporter Kyle Cooper, has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana, and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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