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FairfaxGreat Falls group wants Fairfax zoning rewrite to support U.S. flag

Great Falls group wants Fairfax zoning rewrite to support U.S. flag

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Old Glory holds special significance and should not be lumped in with other flags that would be governed by proposed new Fairfax County zoning rules, according to a resolution passed Feb. 16 by executive-board members of the Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA).

Fairfax County officials on Jan. 19 published a proposed amendment to the county’s zoning ordinance that would regulate the height of flagpoles and change the definition of a flag.

Flagpole heights, currently unregulated, would be capped at 25 feet for lots with single-family dwellings and 60 feet on lots that have other principal uses. Single-family lots would be limited to two flags of no more than 24 square feet each, although flags less than 2 square feet in size would be exempted from the rules.

Lots with principal uses other than single-family dwellings would be allowed up to three flags of no more than 96 square feet each.

Flags could be located no closer than 5 feet from any front or street lines and would be subject to any side- and rear-setback regulations.

The new language adds the phrase “regardless of content,” which GFCA executive-board members said would eliminate distinctions between the U.S. flag or any other “single piece of cloth.”

The proposed ordinance amendment would create a new compliance burden associated with flag display, GFCA leaders said.

“The Executive Board of the Great Falls Citizens Association believes that the National Flag of the United States is deserving of special recognition and distinction within the Zoning Ordinance’s definition of flags, due to its historic and patriotic significance,” GFCA’s resolution read.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission on Feb. 24 will decide on a recommendation on the matter. The Board of Supervisors is slated to take up the topic on March 9.

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