How to Participate in the Planning Process


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    The two bodies that have the most influence on land use decisions in Fairfax County are the Planning Commission, an appointed body which issues advisory opinions specifically on land use matters, including rezoning and special exception applications, and the Board of Supervisors, an elected body which makes the final decision on such applications as well many other matters (including changes to the Comprehensive Plan, the document which guides land use decisions).

    At present, I know of no land use applications before either body that will directly affect the Burke's Spring Branch watershed. However, I'm leaving up the information below for future reference, and so that people can contact Supervisor DuBois about other matters. Since past applications for land use matters (including such information as site plans, proffers, etc.) are filed by application number, I've also provided the numbers for projects currently in process below.

    At present, Fairfax County is creating plans for each of its watersheds. The plans are drafted by paid consultants and members of a steering committee with input from members of the public and county staff. They will eventually be approved by the Board of Supervisors, and will help to guide County spending and policy over the next twenty years. The Pimmit Run watershed, including the Burke's Spring Branch subwatershed, will be included in the Middle Potomac Watersheds Plan. Each stage of the planning process is accompanied by a public meeting. The next such meeting, scheduled for 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Tues. Nov. 1 at Longfellow Middle School, will give the public a chance to comment on the draft plan, now available online at ).


    Contact Information for Nancy Hopkins and Joan DuBois

    Our Planning Commissioner is Nancy Hopkins, and our Supervisor is Joan DuBois. Joan DuBois is the appropriate person to contact with general concerns about matters in the Dranesville District, and the county as a whole. A letter is the most effective means of communication if you have the time, but an email, even a short one naming your specific concerns, can be effective, too. If you're writing about a land-use application, you should reference the application number in your letter or the subject line of your email. In any communication, you should include your street address, which identifies you as a constituent. It is also a good idea to send a copy of your correspondence to the general email addresses for the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, below. If you'd like to see letters and testimony other neighbors have written concerning the CAALF and Winchester developments (or contribute a copy of your own), please go to the letters page.

    Supervisor Joan DuBois
    McLean Governmental Center
    1437 Balls Hill Rd.
    McLean, VA 22101
    Planning Commissioner Nancy Hopkins
    Fairfax County Planning Commission
    Room 330
    12000 Government Center Parkway
    Fairfax, VA 22035

    Email for written testimony to the BOS:

    General Planning Commission email:

    Signing up to Testify before the Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors

    Any Fairfax County citizen is eligible to testify before the Planning Commision and Board of Supervisors.

    To get on the speaker's list for the Planning Commission, do one of the following before 3 p.m. on the day of the hearing: call (703)324-2865, or sign up on the web at . If you're speaking about a proposed rezoning or other land use matter, you'll need the application number. Individual speakers (as opposed to those representing Homeowners' Associations or other civic groups) get five minutes to speak as long as they sign up beforehand. It's also a good idea to bring 13 copies of a written version of your testimony (which can be longer) for the commissioners to consider.

    To get on the speaker's list for the Board of Supervisors, call 703-324-3151 before noon on the day of the hearing, or sign up online at before 10 a.m. on the day of the hearing. Here, too, you'll need an application number if you're testifying about a proposed rezoning or other land use matter. According to the BOS website, "if you are speaking on your own behalf or speaking for your neighborhood or civic association, you are given three minutes to speak; if you are speaking for an organization whose membership represents an entire supervisory district, you have five minutes; and if you are speaking for a Board- recognized Countywide organization, you have ten minutes." As at the Planning Commission, you can bring handouts and/or a written version of your testimony; if you do, you should have 15 copies.

    Application Numbers for Developments in the Watershed

    Winchester/Camberley Homes/Stockwell Manor: RZ/FDP 2003 DR 031

    CAALF/CRI: SE 2003-DR-022




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    All items copyright © 2003-2005 Friends of Burke's Spring Branch unless another source is noted. Copyright for items with identified authorship remains with the author(s); historical and other documents reproduced here are, to the best knowledge of the webmaster, in the public domain. Items under Friends of Burke's Spring Branch copyright may be reproduced for nonprofit research or educational use as long as this copyright notice is included. Please direct comments and questions to Cathy Saunders.