F.C. Council Mulls No More ‘By Right’ for Churches

The Falls Church City Council is considering an ordinance amendment that will require application and approval of a special use permit for several uses that are presently permitted “by right” in the business and light industry zones of the City. The uses are churches, parish houses and similar religious facilities, private schools and daycare facilities complying with the provisions of the state code. The changes would not apply to any existing facilities, but only to new ones and expansion of existing ones.

The purpose of the proposed change, which the Council has yet to act upon, is “to encourage retail and commercial uses in the business and industrial zoning districts by more closely controlling non-retail service-type uses that are currently allowed by right in business districts,” according to a City Hall staff report.

A preliminary approval could come next week with a final “second reading” adoption scheduled for Dec. 14.