Infill Development Task Force Being Formed in Mount Vernon

Infill Development Task Force Being Formed in Mount Vernon

As one of my 2022 commitments, I am initiating an Infill Development Task Force (IDTF) to include many neighborhood representatives, my office, our state elected representatives, and developers to review and evaluate County and state options for better addressing the impacts on neighbors and neighborhoods of “by-right” residential infill redevelopment projects. "By-right” development means it is a permitted use in a zoning district and, as long as the planned development meets County/state standards, the County does not have the legal right to stop or restrict that property’s development.

I have had numerous discussions with County leadership, the County Attorney’s office, and the Zoning Administrator about how we can best manage these types of developments to support their positive effects while reducing their negative impacts on our neighborhoods. This task force provides the best approach for bringing together the key community members and knowledgeable staff for addressing these generally “by-right” developments. Its work will be focused on the following areas:

  • Notifications to surrounding homes and community;

  • Lot sizes and setbacks;

  • Building height and the measurement of building height;

  • Stormwater impacts and management on a lot, in a neighborhood and its aggregate effect on the surrounding area;

  • Tree cover and tree preservation existing standards, Fairfax County Tree Commission recommendations, State Tree Advisory Group’s recommendations to the General Assembly, and other environmental best practices; 

  • Bonding practices including types, amount and length of time;

  • Zoning and historic overlay district (HOD) options; and

  • Other considerations and potential solutions.

This effort will take time, continued long-term advocacy, deep involvement by our state elected officials, the strong support of my Board of Supervisors colleagues and significant County resources. Truly if it were simple, my predecessor and I would have addressed it a long time ago, as we know the impacts it has and has had on our neighborhoods for decades. Things are changing with our greater understanding of these development impacts, the importance of our trees to reducing local/climate heat, absorbing rainfall and keeping us all healthier, and the increased intensity of our storms, stormwater runoff and flooding.   

The timeline and frequency of the Infill Development Task Force meetings have yet to be determined, but I am anticipating commissioning this group for a period of about 6 months, with monthly mostly virtual meetings. Anyone wanting to be a Task Force member would need to commit for the full 6-month period. Since these meetings will be open to the public, anyone may attend, though non-member in-meeting comments would be more limited. 

If you are willing to commit your time and efforts for six months as a formal member of this Task Force, please email Nick Rinehart in my office at Please also let Nick know if you would just like to be added to the Task Force meeting notices and notes distribution list.