Planning Division

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Regular hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday - Friday. Check the DPD Operating Status webpage for more information.

TTY 711

12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 730
Fairfax, VA 22035

Leanna O'Donnell,

Site-Specific Plan Amendment (SSPA) Process


An evaluation of the Site-Specific Plan Amendment process is taking place from Fall 2021 to Spring 2022 that will consider the current process and identify potential improvements. A survey was created to gather community and stakeholder feedback that the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors will utilize as they review the current process and identify appropriate changes. The community survey is now closed, and overall results along with results from specific stakeholder groups are available for review. Survey findings will be used along with a staff analysis to help inform discussions with the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors on potential process changes. Changes to the SSPA process, if any, are expected by mid-2022.

The Planning Commission’s Land Use Process Review Committee discussed the SSPA Retrospective on January 20, 2022. Details, including materials and a meeting video, are available on the  Planning Commission website.

The Board of Supervisors Land Use Policy Committee will discuss the SSPA Retrospective on February 15, 2022. Details on the meeting and a link to the live video feed are available on the Board of Supervisor’s website. 

Related Resources

Planning Commission Roundtable: SSPA Process Evaluation

The Site-Specific Plan Amendment Process (SSPA) is an opportunity to participate in Fairfax County's land use planning process by submitting proposals (called Nominations) to amend the Area Plan volumes of the Comprehensive Plan (the Plan) and/or the Comprehensive Land Use Plan Map through the Plan Amendment Work Program. The Comprehensive Plan is the guide used by the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors to make land use decisions.

The SSPA process, including the appointment of Task Force members, is organized by the County's Supervisor Districts. In the 2017 SSPA cycle, Comprehensive Plan land use guidance for the northern portion of the County, including the Dranesville, Hunter Mill, Providence and Sully Supervisor Districts, is being reviewed. In the 2019-2020 SSPA cycle, the southern portion of the County, which includes Braddock, Lee, Mason, Mount Vernon and Springfield Supervisor Districts, is being reviewed. 

2017 North County SSPA Process

SSPA North Logo


2019-2020 South County SSPA Process

SSPA South Logo


Scope of SSPA

The SSPA process concerns site-specific land use recommendations. There are limitations on what properties can be proposed for a Comprehensive Plan change. Review the eligibility criteria for proposals that cannot be submitted for the SSPA process. A nominator may submit only one nomination for the specific land area that he or she proposes for consideration in the SSPA process. This land area may consist of one or many parcels.

Nominators must complete a Nomination Form and justify the nominated change to the Comprehensive Plan. The justification should explain how the proposal would:

  • Address an emerging community concern;
  • Better implement the Concept for Future Development and not be contrary to long-standing county policies;
  • Advance major policy objectives such as:
    • Environmental protection;
    • Revitalization of designated areas;
    • Economic development;
    • Preserving open space;
    • Affordable housing; or
    • Balancing transportation infrastructure and public facilities with growth and development;
  • Respond to actions by others, such as Federal, State, or adjacent jurisdictions (if applicable);
  • Reflect implementation of Comprehensive Plan guidance; and/or,
  • Respond to or incorporate research derived from technical planning or transportation studies.

During the submission period, DPD staff will be available to answer questions about preparing nominations.

Nomination Review

Once nominations have been reviewed and accepted into the process, a community screening will take place with the task force to evaluate how the nomination compares to long-standing county policy and the merits and urgency of the nomination. County staff and the task force will make recommendations to the Planning Commission about which nominations should be added to the work program. A public hearing will be held to review these recommendations and adopt a new work program. The work program will be sent to the Board of Supervisors as an information item. A formal review and impacts analysis for those nominations that are added to the work program will follow. Both staff and the task force will make recommendations to adopt or modify the nomination, or to retain the Plan to the Planning Commission at a public hearing. Only those nominations that are supported by the Planning Commission will move forward to the Board of Supervisors where the Board would take action on the nomination following a public hearing. For more information, review the Nomination Review page.

Stay Informed

The Fairfax County Land Use Planning Facebook page will provide timely announcements about the SSPA process, as well as announcements related to the Comprehensive Plan, Plan Amendments, special studies and other planning activity.

Subscribe to the Comprehensive Plan Announcements email service under the "Land Use & Development" heading. This listserv will provide timely announcements about the SSPA process, as well as announcements related to the Comprehensive Plan, Plan Amendments, special studies and other planning activity.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant