Front Porch Projections

Background

The Mayor and Town Council directed Department of Planning and Zoning staff to engage the community in Fall 2021 on potential updates to the zoning code for lot coverage and front porch projection provisions separate from the process to update the Town's zoning and subdivision ordinances.

In late summer/early fall of 2021 staff held several engagement events at the farmers market and Chillin’ on Church to take in additional comments on front porches and lot coverage.

The Planning Commission first held a public hearing on Nov. 10, 2021, which it continued to the Dec. 8, 2021 meeting.  The Planning Commission closed the public hearing at the Dec. 8, 2021 meeting and passed a motion to recommend adoption of the front porch encroachment, as presented.

The Town Council held a public hearing on Jan. 24, 2022 and closed the public hearing that night, but allowed written comments through Jan. 31, 2022.

The Town Council considered the text amendment at the Feb. 28, 2022 regular meeting and voted 4-2 to approve the proposed text amendment and directed staff to add additional criteria in the text amendment to clarify that knee walls and railings up to a certain height are permitted.  The code amendments were adopted on March 21, 2022 and went into effect 

The code amendments went into effect on April 4, 2022. 

Adopted Code Amendment

"Any one-story unenclosed porch shall be permitted to encroach eight feet into the required front yard. The portion of the front porch encroaching cannot be fully enclosed on three sides and cannot exceed 14 feet in height as measured from the average front grade. For unenclosed front and sides of porch, railing shall not exceed 42 inches above the porch floor and solid walls shall not exceed 24 inches above the porch floor. Steps coming off the porch are permitted to encroach the minimum distance required by the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC). "

Porch additions require application through Fairfax County and the Town of Vienna. Please contact dpz@viennava.gov with any questions.