Proposed Changes to Height Limits and Front Setbacks for Single and Two-Family Homes

Planning and Zoning staff proposes a text amendment to the zoning ordinance regarding height limits and front setbacks for single and two-family homes. Please review this page for more information on this effort as well as how to provide comments on the proposed changes. The text amendment is scheduled for hearings in February 2019.

Page updated on Dec 4, 2018 at 2:04 PM


In 2008, City Council approved zoning ordinance amendments (collectively known as the residential infill regulations) to increase compatibility of new houses with the character and scale of houses in the City’s established neighborhoods. The current regulations can be found here. Since 2008, 157 new houses were constructed following these regulations. After 10 years of implementation, Planning and Zoning staff has found that while successful, the infill regulations could be updated to reduce complexity and increase predictability for the City’s homeowners.

Anticipated Public Hearing Dates:

The final report containing staff’s recommendations will be available on December 21, 2018 at the links below.  

Planning Commission: Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.   

City Council: Saturday, Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. 

 Project Timeline and Draft Recommendations:

Planning and Zoning staff held public meetings on October 2 and November 14. At the first meeting, staff presented implementation challenges and preliminary findings. Staff presented draft recommendations which can be found in slides 9 through 16 of the November 14 presentation, below. At both meetings, staff answered questions and received feedback from participants. The presentations for both meetings can be found below:  

October 2 Presentation

November 14 Presentation   

For More Information:  

For questions or to provide comments/feedback please contact Sam Shelby at or 703-746-3865. We encourage you to attend the February public hearings but if you’d like to provide feedback in advance, please do so by December 7, 2018.