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Fairfax County Construction Requirements and Permit Information

Fairfax County has very specific regulations regarding construction and placement of the projects below. In addition to following the Design Review Guidelines for your project, make sure you factor in county requirements before submitting your proposed plans for DRC review.

Design Review Committee Members - 2020

Barbara Ward, Chair

Cory English (architect)

Paul Trombley (architect)

Jennifer Kirby (design professional)

Piya Vlach (architect)

CAHH DRC Liaison: Allison Miles-Lee

Contact the DRC:

Next Meeting 

Zoom Video Conference

October 14th,  7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Contact Allison Miles-Lee for request a link to join the video conference:


Projects Under Review 

Hight/Heffner Residence, 7500 Elba Road: move parking area and enlarge deck

Leigh Residence, 2321 Kimbro Street: new retaining wall


A Foundational Concept

The concept of architectural review by a group of community members was a novelty in the late 1940s and early 1950s. It also was fundamental to subdivision developer Robert Davenport's community of vision. Hollin Hills has maintained its contemporary design integrity through consistent, fair application of the original design philosophy and the shared vision of its residents throughout the years.

In Hollin Hills, that process took shape under the Architectural Control Committee, created by Davenport to ensure that any new structure in Hollin Hills home would meet the developer's definition of "harmony and conformity" with other community structures.

The committee members were Davenport and Hollin Hills investors Morris and Samuel J. Rodman. Hollin Hills lot owners requested countless changes in their homes during the first years of construction. Davenport determined the appropriateness of those changes. If they were basic design decisions -- and he approved -- Davenport turned them over to Hollin Hills architect Charles Goodman for review. A number of the requested changes became standard in future home design

In 1955, the powers of the original committee expired and were transferred to the Architectural Review Committee (ARC). From this point forward, a group of residents appointed by the Hollin Hills civic association board -- now known as the Design Review Committee -- has been in place to help homeowners ensure their desired exterior renovations align with the harmony and conformity definition.

The Role of the

Design Review Committee

All DRC members shall serve at the pleasure of the CAHH board. The DRC role is to:

  1. Provide advice on design concepts
  2. Review design plans
  3. Monitor construction
  4. Recommend action when unapproved construction is commenced or when construction departs from approval
  5. Interview prospective DRC candidates and make recommendations to the CAHH board
  6. Update the Design Review Guidelines for community approval
  7. Revise procedures as necessary


Unless specifically indicated otherwise in this document, all new construction and all alterations that affect the visual appearance of any building or structure require approval by the DRC to assure the maintenance of what the covenant refers to as “harmony and conformity of external design with existing structures in the subdivision”. Exterior alterations that are not visible from the street DO require DRC approval. Hollin Hills was designed holistically, and any proposed alterations must be considered in that context.

The covenant’s reference to building and structure means that which is built or constructed. Accordingly, fences, decks, detached, accessory structures (sheds, carports, pool/tennis enclosures, greenhouses, etc.), gazebos, trellises, awnings, retaining walls, and freestanding walls all require approval. In addition to obtaining DRC approval, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to be aware of and comply with all jurisdictional (Fairfax County) building codes and zoning requirements.



Projects that do not change the external appearance of the property do not require review or approval by the DRC. These include interior renovations that have no visible external implications and exterior repairs that do not change the exterior appearance.

Homeowners should assume that any alterations not explicitly indicated on the list below will require approval and should contact the DRC to determine the level of review required. 


The following items do not require DRC review or approval by the DRC:

  • Interior alterations
  • Planting, gardens, and mulching
  • Changes to topography (Please note that Fairfax County has strict requirements that protect neighbors from changes in topography which may increase runoff onto their properties)
  • In-ground ponds and water features less than 100 square feet in area and lower than 24” high
  • Loose gravel and nongrouted stepping stone pathways
  • Non-permanent landscape features, such as lawn ornaments, bird baths, sculptures, portable basketball hoops, and children’s playsets
  • Edging and landscape walls 24” high or less
  • Mailboxes
  • Flagpoles
  • Minor exterior lighting, such as low-voltage landscape lights
  • Overhead and underground utility lines
  • Minor vents required for appliances and furnaces
  • Maintenance or repair of existing exterior elements so long as the visual appearance does not change
  • Re-pointing, maintenance, and in-kind repair of existing masonry
  • In-kind replacement of damaged or deterio- rated materials, such as siding and roofing, with the same exact materials, profiles, dimensions, and details
  • Replacement of broken glass provided the visual appearance of the windows, including frame shape, size and profiles, do not change
  • Re-sealing and in-kind repair or maintenance of existing driveways and walkways
  • Painting and changes to paint colors (please see recommendations for paint colors in Section IV of the Design Review Guidelines)
  • Temporary seasonal screening around garden plots, provided it no higher than 48” and is not located in the front



Civic Association of Hollin Hills

1600 Paul Spring Road, Alexandria, VA 22307


© Copyright 2017 Civic Association of Hollin Hills. All Rights Reserved.