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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
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Page updated Dec 16, 2008 1:33 PM

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 16, 2008         

City Council Enacts Ordinance to Simplify Zoning Approvals for Specified Small Businesses in Alexandria

On Saturday, December 13, City Council enacted an ordinance that changes zoning regulations for certain small businesses in the City of Alexandria. The changes will simplify the process for businesses to obtain zoning approval for building uses such as small commercial schools, childcare centers, and small restaurants in certain locations. Previously, these uses were subject to review and approval through a formal hearing process and required the submission of a Special Use Permit. Under the new regulations, some of these uses can now be approved as either permitted or administrative uses, rather than requiring a Special Use Permit application.

These changes, which were a result of the efforts of the Small Business Task Force, Planning and Zoning staff, the Planning Commission and both businesses and residents, came about after significant public outreach and several public hearings.

 The Small Business Task Force, created in June 2006 to review issues related to how the City government interacts with small businesses, reviewed the full range of government codes, permits, and services. In June 2007, City Council received the Task Force’s report and recommendations and asked the City Manager for a report by the end of 2007 with an update on the status of the recommendations. The enacted ordinance implements one of the major recommendations of the Task Force report, which was to change the approval process for specific uses in the zoning code that may have little or no impact on nearby communities.

For additional information, please contact Rich Josephson, Department of Planning and Zoning, at 703.838.4666 or at