Fairfax, Virginia 


Project: Public charrette for visioning master plan and Form-Based Code

Client: City of Fairfax, Virginia

Contacts: David Hudson, Director of Community Planning & Development 703.385.7820

Victor Dover,  Lead Consultant,  Dover Kohl & Partners 305.666.0446

Status: Public charrette and code writing completed 2007, currently in adoption process

Ferrell Madden was part of an interdisciplinary team, led by Dover Kohl & Partners, which produced a vision master plan for the redevelopment and revitalization of the Fairfax Boulevard (U.S. Route 50) corridor through the City of Fairfax in Northern Virginia. In addition to participating in the weeklong public participation design charrette, FML drafted new development regulations for the corridor.

This historic rural highway had become an auto-dominated corridor, outside of the historic core of the city. Commuter traffic passes through, without a sense of arrival or destination. The corridor had no sense of identity and the economic benefits and local services that it had provided to the community were in decline. Although certain names remain, such as Fairfax Circle and Kamp Washington, only the longtime residents understand them, because few remnants of these features remain between the car dealerships, hotels and motels, aging shopping centers, office buildings and fast food establishments. New developments outside of the City proper are thriving and providing increased competition for the City.

Building on the input gathered in the public charrette, the master plan envisioned three distinct pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use centers along the corridor—each of differing character. The team worked with city staff, property owners, the business improvement district, and neighbors to flesh out ideas regarding redevelopment and revitalization, including market potential, timing and other issues related to implementation.

The plan and draft regulations recognize that the corridor is not of uniform character—there isn’t sufficient market to maintain mixed-use and retail along its entire length, so the “connectors” between the centers were treated differently.

The design master plan focused on transforming the corridor into a true multi-way boulevard, as the name indicates, including the incorporation of rail transit at some point in the future.