Fairfax County has launched a new initiative that will serve as an alternative to the Area Plans Review (APR) process for managing the Comprehensive Plan and planning activities.
Representatives Jennifer Lai and Marianne Gardner from the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning introduced the initative, called Fairfax Forward, to members of the Mason District Land Use Committee meeting Tuesday night.
According to presentation, the goals of Fairfax Forward are to develop a model that will maintain a systematic approach, increase community involvement, promote logical and flexible review and emphasize plan monitoring and maintenance.
In 2011, the APR process was evaluated and input was received through community meetings and online surveys. The results showed that the existing process was too reactive to parcel-specific nominations, was too rigid and had inadequate community involvement.
The Fairfax Forward process includes updating many parts of the Comprehensive Plan. An evaluation of the State of the Plan has been completed, an amendment database has been created and the Comprehensive Land Use Plan Map and Future Development Land Classification System have been updated. The staff is currently working on editorial updates that will be available for review and comment at the end of the summer.
Lai said the new planning model, which should launch in 2013, will be a "more contemporary approach to how we will do planning in the county." The program will track planning activities over a three-year period, and review of the items on the program will occur every two years.
"This new format seeks to encourage a greater amount of general education about the Comprehensive Plan and more pro-active community involvement in planning studies," Lai said.
The goal is to get the community involved earlier in the process with the participation methods tailored to the type of amendment, Lai said.
After completing the community meeting presentations, Fairfax Forward will draft its work program. A public comment period for the plan will be held in September.