Richmond Highway: Design Guidelines

Project Overview

County Staff is in the process of developing urban design guidelines for the Richmond Highway Corridor.

Introduction to the Richmond Highway Urban Design Guidelines from Fairfax County



In March 2018, the Board of Supervisors adopted the Embark Comprehensive Plan (the Plan) amendment (Plan Amendment 2015-IV-MV1). The Plan envisions the revitalization of the Richmond Highway corridor through mixed-use redevelopments that support walking, biking and a bus rapid transit (BRT) system that runs along Richmond Highway. The corridor is envisioned to be transformed into a series of distinctive and vibrant urban environments that are integrated into a range of multimodal transportation options, including a connected street network, pedestrian and bicycle connections, and nine potential BRT stations. Among its many components, the Plan contains a number of urban design principles and recommendations.

About The Urban Design Guidelines

Following the adoption of the Plan, the Board directed County staff to work on a number of implementation tasks. One of these is the creation of urban design guidelines to elaborate on the urban design guidance in the Plan, to include the overall design, appearance, character and function of streets and streetscapes, parks, and plazas; the form of buildings and their relationship to streets and public spaces; and, specific information related to street furnishings and other streetscape details.

This effort builds on Volume I: Urban Design Guidelines for Commercial Revitalization Districts and Areas , which includes broad recommendations and urban design ideas applicable to all of the County’s Commercial Revitalization Districts (CRDs) and Commercial Revitalization Areas (CRAs). The Design Guidelines for the Richmond Highway Corridor will serve as a companion document that is tailored to the community’s specific preferences for the Richmond Highway corridor area.


It is anticipated that the Design Guidelines for the Richmond Highway Corridor will be completed and presented to the Board for its endorsement by the summer of 2019.

Get Involved

Community participation is an essential part of the development of these urban design guidelines. To that end, an Advisory Group representing a broad spectrum of stakeholders has been created. Currently scheduled meetings of the Advisory Group are:

There are no meetings scheduled at this time.

In addition, there are a number of other ways in which the county is engaging with community stakeholders. The first of these was an interactive workshop held on December 8, 2018 to kick-off the urban design guidelines. Approximately 60 people attended the workshop and provided ideas about the desired character and appearance of the Richmond Highway corridor’s Community Business Centers (CBCs). The results of this input will be used to better define the design character and specific design elements of the CBCs.  Additional opportunities for providing input on the guidelines will be forthcoming in 2019.

December 8, 2018 Workshop Results
North Gateway CBC
Penn Daw CBC
Beacon Groveton CBC
Hybla Valley / Gum Springs CBC

For More Information:

JoAnne Fiebe
Program Manager at the Office of Community Revitalization

Related Links and Resources:

Embark Comprehensive Plan

Volume I: Urban Design Guidelines for Commercial Revitalization Districts and Areas

Richmond Highway Bus Rapid Transit

OCRR - Fairfax County, Virginia

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