Update: Drop Box Rules Get OK From Planning Commission

Collection boxes at South Lakes Village CenterThe Fairfax County Planning Commission has recommended for approval tighter rules on charity drop off boxes, which have good intentions but often end up as neighborhood dumps for castoffs.

The boxes are currently not covered by any county zoning rules, officials say. Instead, Fairfax County has applied its rules for secondary structures like garden sheds or garages.

Under new rules OKed by the planning commission on Wednesday:

  • May not be larger than seven feet tall, six feet wide or six feet long.
  • Are limited to two boxes per property in an area not to exceed a total of 120 square feet.
  • Must be made of weather-proof, noncombustible materials.
  • Must get regular collection with no items left outside the boxes.
  • Must list the following information on the outside of the box: name and telephone number of the owner/operator, the items for collection, and a statement prohibiting liquids and dumping.
  • May only be placed on certain commercial properties, like shopping centers, that are 40,000 square feet or larger; in any commercial area of a planned district when shown on an approved development plan; and in any residential district on lots with a non-residential principal use, like a church, or in conjunction with approval for another use by a special permit, special exception or proffered rezoning and only when shown on an approved development plan.

The new rules will now move on to the Board of Supervisors for final approval.

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