Land Use

The pattern of land development in the Hunter Mill Road Corridor is generally zoned low density residential. There is significant forested and open space that will remain undeveloped because it lies in the numerous stream valleys of the area. The environmentally sensitive Difficult Run watershed, a prominent feature of the Corridor, is the largest watershed in Fairfax County.

Fairfax County's Comprehensive Plan is the document that guides residential, commercial and industrial development countywide.  There is a public hearing process for proposing and adopting Plan Amendments. The Hunter Mill Road Corridor is in Planning Areas II and III, as defined in the Comprehensive Plan.

The HMDL Land Use Committee monitors applications affecting land use in the Hunter Mill Road Corridor. The Committee gathers information from appropriate county officials and advises homeowner associations located near the relevant site.  HMDL encourages all Corridor residents to notify the Land Use Committee of all requests for rezoning, variances, special permit, special exception, or filed site plan applications in their area.

In Fairfax County, the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors hear rezoning, special permit, and special exception cases.  The Board of Zoning Appeals hears all variance cases and initial applications for special permits and special exceptions.

To learn more about Fairfax County's Comprehensive Planning process and Zoning Ordinance, visit  

Recent HMDL Land Use Committee Activities

2014 Materials

2-21-14 Development Conditions (The package the Board will be deciding on) 

Reasons for a Denial Vote

Community Proposed Development


2013 Materials



Community Letter1 to FCPC Opposing SEA-2009-DR OO8 7-8-13

Community Letter2 to FCPC Opposing SEA-2009-DR OO8 7-9-13

Ltr to Planning Commissioners to deny Oakcrest SEA 2009-DR-008 [E Eder 061913]
After the letters shown here were sent in, the Planning Commission approved the conditions documented in the following link. Note the Berm is not entirely removed in this version, and the transportation management caps are partially restored.
DEVELOPMENT CONDITIONS SEA-2009-DR OO8 staff report 7-30-13

HMDL Statement on the Oakcrest SEA decision

On Tuesday, February 25, the Board of Supervisors voted to approve the Oakcrest SEA. We thank two of our four Hunter Mill Road Supervisors, Supervisor Foust (Dranesville) and Supervisor Smyth (Providence) for standing behind the reasoning of the original SE.  Their principled support for the only solution that had consensus means a great deal to those us who call this part of the county home.

In the SEA, only one of the community concerns was effectively addressed; the rest were judged non-substantive or to have been mitigated by lesser means than sought. All of the features that allowed for community support of the SE approved in 2010 have been stripped away.  Nothing stands in the way of the eventual removal of all berms, to be replaced by vastly inferior transitional screening. A massive increase in rush hour traffic on Crowell Road is certain.

In the end, all efforts to find solutions by working with the School, the County Staff, and the Supervisor’s office were fruitless. Without the leadership of the Supervisor, one landowner – who was not the applicant – was behind the scenes making all the critical transportation configuration decisions that will affect the entire community.  He did so by means of a lawsuit challenging the original approval of the 2010 SE (which he previously publicly testified that he supported), by pushing self-serving provisions of his ‘Cooperative Development Agreement’ with the School and ignoring his commitment to provide an easement to the School for Hunter Mill Road access.  In fact, he was able to do all this with knowledge that the School would not enforce its contract rights and that County Attorney would not enforce the express requirements of the 2010 SE where right-of-way could not be obtained voluntarily for the roundabout.  It appears to us that no one else’s opinion materially affected outcome and no one else’s vision for the community mattered.

We believe no weight was given to the very land use protections safeguarded in the 2010 SE and eliminated in this ‘amendment’ that was just approved.  As a community we are at loss to explain the meaning of the Comprehensive Plan language and the ordinances governing Special Exceptions as they allegedly were applied here. Our enduring impression is that both the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors have spoken out of both sides of their mouths in this case. They have approved that which was previously rejected and rejected that which was formerly approved. Can there be any wonder at the immense frustration in the community with the actions of its County government?


For further information or comments, contact chair:

Jody Bennett

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