Lunch & Learn Comments

All comments received during a Lunch & Learn webinar are provided below under the date of the webinar. Click on the down arrow to the right of the title to view the drop down window showing the comments. Responses to the comments were provided live at the end of each presentation. The comments have not been edited or checked for spelling, accuracy or feasibility. All comments will be considered as the update process continues.

Pls enlarge briefing screen so we can read it

Thanks for including the businesses!!

I heard you mention that the video will be available for later viewing.  Is it possible to have the slides available as well (that is, without having to watch the video)?

Great that you sent out the notice for this over Instagram.  Will that continue to be a mode of communication?

will residents be able to make ordinanace changes?

I often hear the term “by right zoning” what does that mean”?

Great presentation! I like the visuals. It makes it so much easier to understand.

thank you for this process.  The staff has been very good at responding to specific questionsm about zoning and uses.  Clarifying this, and re-organizing this, is very MUCH appreciated.  this has been helpful for properties along Mill and Dominion.

Given our goals of “range of housing options for diverse population” and “retain single family residential character” how can we go about evaluating requests for second full kitchens in our in-law apartments for our elderly parents?

should we submit documents requesting certain things be included or excluded.

sorry - meant suggest

Does the town or the comprehensive plan have an opinion yet on accessory dwelling units?

Cindy and Kelly,  Thanks for putting on these webinars.  They are a great way of interacting and getting feedback from our our highly informed stakeholders.  What do you see as the biggest challenge in redrafting our zoning and subdivision ordinances?

So are ordinance changes and zoning changes seperate processes?

so where would suggestions for changes in the noise ordinance fall into?


Nicely done.  Looking forward to future presentations.

Janry 15, 2021 - The Great Sub-Divide

Can you only pick one?

Are tree houses permitted in Vienna?

5 feet long or 5 feet wide or both

the new homes being build in Vienna may meet the footprint regulations, but thier height and visual weight can overwhelm a lot and integration with the homes around it. Do we expect this to be considered in a future code? I think this should be included.

Thanks - just wanted to make sure width only - answered on that slide!

Why arent pools included in lot coverage.Footprints are often large. Rationale pls.

Will you be addressing set-backs?

My other = pervious surfaces.  Particularly the picture you showed previously of grass covered pavers.

How many people are participating today?

my "other" would be pervious driveway, of limited size

How many people are participating on this session

For lot coverage - the pool area is counted, just not the swimming pool itself. Is that corrected. Is one of the reasons for the exception because the pool absorbs rainwater?

double door areaways are usually 6'-8' wide, would those be okay? or case by case?

Is there any requirement for builders to notify homeowners of lot coverage requirements before construction begins?

is the 5' to outside of wall or landing?

Concur with Nancy about the grass-covered pavers as an "other", as you are conferring with your consultants.

Some of new houses have basement foundations with 2-3' overhangs making floors above that much larger.  Is there some consideration in lot coverage for these low bump outs?  It makes these houses appear oversized for the lot.

Nice job ladies! Miss you all.

Thank you. Love the L&L & polls!

Thank you!


I have been watching the videos that were posted on the site and wanted to add some insight into Andrea West's answer (at 33:05) to a question. The question had to do with a requirement for a builder to notify a homeowner of lot coverage requirements before construction begins?  As an active real estate agent, I have seen many homes in Vienna get snapped up by eager individuals who plan to tear it down and then hire a builder to build a new home. They presume that what they see in Arlington or McLean/Falls Church will look great here in Vienna... without understanding that those homes are too big and won't meet TOV setback requirements. It is then that they realize why they got a great deal on a lot that local builders had dismissed. Caveat Emptor. That is my insight into our crazy little real estate market.

No comments or questions received during webinar.

What efforts are being made now to help businesses who were able to use the Temporary Outdoor Commercial Activity Permit extend this opportunity?  Covid isn't gone, and business are going to likely need this opportunity in the new year.

Is there any realistic chance of multi family dwellings (eg. duplexes) being allowed in RS-10, 12.5, and 16 zoning codes?

Comments during the webinar:

Who is on the board?

No shed. Driveway is 10 feet wide.

Comment sent via e-mail:

I would like to submit a question regarding adding a screen porch when my property is at the 25% lot coverage. What is available to me using the variance process.


I am the second homeowner of a 2014 new construction home. The original owner and builder built out to the 25% lot coverage which leaves zero options to add a screen porch or patio for the life of the home. What is the average life of a home? 50 years?

No future owner for 50 years plus can add a screen porch or patio because of what the original homeowner or spec builder did?

Where is my compromise?

Can I remove my driveway and access my garage using my grass to free up lot coverage?

Can I remove a 6 foot strip of my driveway to free up lot coverage? What can I do to free up lot coverage for a 200sf of lot coverage for a screen porch without taking down a part of my 6 year old home?

My property has a larger setback than other lots in Vienna. Will the town allow me some lot coverage relief so that I am not discriminated against.

People who can afford larger lot prices can build porches because they have larger lot coverage. What can the town do to even the playing field? 

What does artisan and maker mean on Mill St?

Transitional zone - where for cottage houses?

Is the commercial site on Glyndon & Tapawingo really lending itself to transitional around it? It is fully residential and this site was an original 7-11 that never went anywhere.

226 Dominion, please re-state what uses are proposed by right uses. 

Also 410 Pine St.

Surrounding lots are residential

slightly concerned that all the business owners along Mill and Dominion , are unaware of all this.  Trust that outreach has been done to ensure all the existing businesses are speaking into this.  As well as in all the commercial zones.

most live outside of the Town of Vienna and are not in the communications loop you just mentioned.

thank you for your hard and good work on this.  my only concern is communication to the business owners.

much appreciated.

WE approved a bond issue for the Patrick Henry in the last election.  Will that pay for the entire project?

did you vote on daycare & over-night dog boarding in commercial spaces yet?  if so, what is the result?

thank you!

thank you - nice to put faces with names!


Can the 1/2 story in the existing code for residential include livable space?

With new commercial projects, what are the interior heights you most often see if the structure is 3 stories?  Height of 1st floor = ??

Vs height of 2nd and 3rd floors.

To calculate average front grade, is there a requirement for how many measuring points are used, and the distance between them?

Is a cupola included in the 35 ft? Or can be higher than 35ft?

How many times per year are signficant violations found at wall check or occupancy?  2) Flood plain considerations and when checked?

How do you deal with changes in grade made between the time an old structure is torn down and a new one built? Do you allow 3 feet alteration either up or down?

Actually the Town has had a few voilations in the past three years where the builder had ot reduce the roof to the correct 35 height Level.

How is the three feet measured?

Thank you both for a very fine presentation!

Thank you

How do you deal with an addition to a house with a walk out basement where the entire addition is below to walk out slope?

Where is information on variances that have been granted posted? Is that public information after it has been approved?

Your surverys are not a random or representative sample—how can you make decisions for the town based on only the most active commentators?

What if any county regulations apply to Vienna?  Does Vienna ever adopt or incorporate by reference county regulations?

Where would requirements for affordable housing come from? State, County, or Town/

When will there be information about Patio's and Shed's and the code related to them?

Could you clarify if the 25% coverage limit is under condiseration for increase?

Where do you anticipate these cottage homes going?

Would you think that the timeline for all these codes to be updated would be Sept 2021?  When would residents be able to implement any changes (etc Patio install)

There is a duplex proposal for old courthouse and 123. What stage of the process is that in?

Just in summary it seems that 2022 would be when you could implement?

For any changes that are proposed to the code, what is the process for those changes being approved? Does their need to be a majority of the council?