Email signup

Rules proposed to allow permanent outdoor dining in downtown Herndon

An outdoor tent set up on Lynn Street in Herndon (via Google Maps)

Outdoor dining became a go-to option during the peak of the pandemic for downtown Herndon businesses, but it may not just be a thing of the past anymore.

The Herndon Town Council is considering a proposal to permit outdoor dining and seating in public areas. The move comes after temporary licenses to allow outdoor dining expired in November.

After the state and town declared a state of emergency, multiple downtown businesses took advantage of relaxed regulations — including those involving serving alcoholic beverages — to allow outdoor dining on sidewalks, parking lots, and on-street parking spaces.

Earlier this year, Vice Mayor Cesar del Aguila asked staff to look into the issue.

The proposal formalizes how businesses operated during temporary regulations. Outdoor dining could be allowed in the public right of way, on-street parking spaces, and off-street, public shared parking spaces once applications are approved by staff.

Dining would only be allowed on unallocated spaces in public parking lots and would be limited to two on-street spaces in front of the businesses.

The proposal also has a list of other requirements intended to minimize the impact on parking and traffic safety. The change would only apply to Lynn, Pine, Station, and Center streets.

An annual application fee of $100 is required, with the maximum permit term lasting from March 15 through Oct. 31.

At a meeting on Tuesday (April 19), Herndon Zoning Administrator David Stromberg said businesses would also be required to pay $10 per square foot of affected public space — a number selected based on how other jurisdictions have handled the issue.

Mayor Sheila Olem said some non-restaurant-related businesses are concerned about a possible shortage of parking spots.

Stromberg emphasized that the ordinance is written in a way that would not allow a large number of parking spots to be eligible for outdoor dining. On average, each business could utilize around two parking spaces.

Staff noted that the town must also consider what is the best use of public property — dining, rideshare, parking, or food pickup and deliveries. Businesses would have to reapply annually.

Del Aguila also encouraged town staff to step up enforcement of parking limits in the downtown area.

“We really need enforcement in the downtown area,” he said.

Councilmember Jasbinder Singh said he was concerned outdoor dining would impact pedestrian accessibility. He suggested considering further limits on outdoor dining, such as the time of day.

Others said that the ordinance — which may include design requirements like adequate drainage —  may be too cumbersome for businesses to follow.

“This is crushing them in regulation because it makes it a much more challenging decision for the business owner to do,” said Councilmember Sean Regan.

Photo via Google Maps

Recent Stories

With Virginia’s presidential primary elections just around the corner, one candidate is hoping to whip up some support in Fairfax County before polls open next Tuesday (March 5). Former South…

Carrabba’s Italian Grill has officially shuttered in Reston after more than two decades of business. A sign on the door of the chain restaurant at 12192 Sunset Hills Road thanks…

For the first time since it was established in 1921, the McLean Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD) has expanded its vehicle fleet to three ambulances.

The newest ambulance began operating out of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s Station 1 (1455 Laughlin Avenue) on Feb. 21 and will get an official, public reveal this Saturday (March 2) at the annual “I Love McLean” celebration.

Eviction cases continue to rise in Fairfax County as the millions of dollars in financial and legal support allocated during the pandemic run out, county staff say. Without the nationwide…

Dreaming of small-town charm with big-city convenience? Look no further than 7156 Main St in Clifton, Virginia! Nestled just 30 miles from the heart of Washington D.C., this picturesque property offers the best of both worlds.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to find tranquility in this quaint, historic town. With its tree-lined streets and friendly community atmosphere, Clifton is the perfect place to call home. Yet, with its close proximity to the nation’s capital, you’ll never be far from the excitement and opportunities of urban living.

Imagine weekends exploring local shops, dining at charming cafes, and enjoying outdoor adventures in nearby parks. Then, commute to D.C. for work or play, soaking in all the culture, entertainment, and career opportunities the city has to offer.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Great Clips at South Lakes Village Center (Reston, Virginia) is seeking hair donors to participate in the Wigs for Kids program this Valentines Week. If you meet the minimum requirements and would like to donate your hair for children fighting cancer, we would love to host you in our salon this Valentine’s Week for a free haircut.

Minimum Requirements

  • Hair donations must be a minimum of 12 inches

  • Hair donations must be clean and stored/packaged completely dry.

  • Hair donations cannot be permed, color-treated, or highlighted.

  • Temporary coloring or highlights that wash out are acceptable but must be completely washed out before cutting. Gray hair is accepted.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

The Van Metre 5K Run

Participate in the 32nd Annual Van Metre 5K Run, a race that goes further than 3.1 miles, and every stride you take supports Children’s National Hospital. The Van Metre 5K Run donates 100% of proceeds to Children’s National Hospital and

Active Bystander: Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) Training

The Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) Active Bystander Certification course, also known as Active Bystander, is the premier training program to prepare civilians for how to respond during an intentional violent event and to address life-threatening emergencies.

Similar to FEMA’s

×

Subscribe to our mailing list