The question remains, is fun public enemy #1 in Arlington? Got this response to my post from Maureen Dilg, writing on behalf of the Arlington County Office of Communications (reprinted here in its entirety):
Due to complaints from neighbors about excessive noise from the outdoor area..., Arlington County zoning inspectors are investigating zoning violations brought against Westover Market. Westover Market has appropriate approvals for seasonal outdoor seating for nine people. The purpose of this seating is outdoor dining.
I appreciate Ms. Dilg's response, but according to TBD.com, she's not telling the whole story here. Westover Market did apply for a permit to seat up to 24, but the county denied it on the grounds that the bathroom was insufficient. So, to review:
The space is being used for more than nine people and live bands are entertaining clientele. Having live, musical entertainment requires a public hearing before the Arlington County Board. Should Westover Market choose to apply for a Live Entertainment Use Permit, the County Board will weigh measures that will minimize the adverse impacts of its use on its neighbors.
All Arlington County residents and businesses are expected to comply with the requirements of local ordinances.
- Cite business for seating more than 9 people
- When said business applies to seat more, deny it
- When people complain about you harassing a business for doing well, say they don't have the right permit, which you denied
Arlington County has clearly chosen the latter. Nine people on the patio sitting quietly? Fine. Ten people on the patio with toddlers dancing to Jack Johnson covers? HAVE SOME COUNTY BOOT ON THE BACK OF YOUR NECK, HIPPIES.
As TBD reported, there's a question of community character at stake:
Daniel Weir, another patron of the garden, wrote to us to say that the garden is part of the reason he’s considering settling down in Westover. “[The beer garden] is a piece of what makes Westover magic — the combination of a truly residential neighborhood that has a spice of urban vitality. Without it and the atmosphere that it helps create, Westover would be like a slightly older, less wealthy McLean,” he says.According to the Facebook group, fans of the Westover Market Beer Garden are asking supporters to email Arlington County Zoning Commisioner Melinda Artman at Martman@arlingtonva.us, letting her know that you want Arlington to work with Westover Market to keep the Beer Garden thriving.