Post Content

Vienna poised to vote on new rules for outdoor dining

The Cedar Park Shopping Center’s patio is set up for outdoor dining (file photo)

An end is in sight for Vienna’s months-long debate over the future of outdoor dining in the town.

The Vienna Town Council intends to vote on May 11 on a new draft zoning ordinance that will permanently ease the permitting process for restaurants seeking to provide outdoor dining — with some limits in place to ward off conflicts over noise, parking, and other potential issues.

The planned vote will immediately follow a joint public hearing with the Vienna Planning Commission.

“We’ve kicked this item around a long, long time, and businesses need to know,” Mayor Linda Colbert said at a Town Council meeting on Monday (April 25), noting that if the ordinance is approved, it likely won’t be formally adopted until June 6.

The proposed ordinance would allow permanent outdoor dining at ground level or on a roof garden as an “incidental use” for restaurants, meaning it would be treated as part of their regular operations, like carryout services, rather than requiring a separate permit.

Plans for outdoor dining, including any tables, tents, and other exterior modifications, must still be reviewed by the town’s Board of Architectural Review as well as Fairfax County building code and fire marshal officials.

The new process will be similar to the temporary waivers that the town introduced in June 2020 to assist businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling restaurants to bypass the Planning Commission review, Board of Zoning Appeals approval, and $1,500 fee required for a conditional use permit.

The town issued waivers to 22 restaurants, including 13 that used parking lot spaces for their outdoor dining space. A total of 58 off-street parking spaces were being used for dining, as of October, according to town staff.

Vienna has been looking at easing its outdoor dining regulations long-term since last fall, but numerous residents raised concerns about noise levels and the availability of parking at a public hearing on Nov. 15, ultimately convincing the Town Council to extend the approved waivers until June 30 and postpone adopting permanent rules.

Proposed rules regulate seating, hours

The newly proposed ordinance contains more detailed regulations intended to address some of the community’s complaints. For instance, it prohibits outdoor dining within 75 feet of a property zoned and utilized for residential purposes.

It also sets a 12-seat limit on permanent outdoor dining. Any restaurant that wants to have more seats would need a conditional use permit.

Outdoor dining will be permitted in off-street parking on a seasonal basis between April 1 and Oct. 31. Those areas can occupy up to 20% of a restaurant’s required parking spaces, and they can be active during the following hours:

  • 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday
  • 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Thursday
  • 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday
  • 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday

For seasonal outdoor dining, restaurants will need a permit that’s reviewed and issued annually by the town’s zoning administrator, who has the power to revoke permits if there are violations.

Those seeking to have temporary outdoor dining are also required to notify all business owners within the same property or shopping center 30 days before they can get a permit approved.

Recent Stories

Morning Notes

Fare-Free Connector to Metrorail Transfers Start Tomorrow — “To continue to improve transit service in Fairfax County, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently approved service and fare changes on…

(Updated, 3:20 p.m.) Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay believes the county will be on “safe legal ground” if it chooses to not follow Virginia’s recently-proposed model policies…

The Montessori School of McLean could soon have the property at 1711 Kirby Road all to itself. The private elementary school has occupied the nearly 4-acre parcel since the early…

The redevelopment of downtown Herndon by Reston-based developer Comstock has been officially been put on pause. But Fairfax County’s commitment to provide $6.2 million remains unchanged, according to the county….

Are you tired of going to the gym? It might be the crowds, the locker room, waiting on equipment or the time it takes to commute to the gym.

Having a personal trainer come to your home will keep you accountable, save you time and allow you to workout in the comfort of your own home.

Skip the hassle of the gym and try our in-home personal training service.

Our services are reasonably priced, convenient, effective and are risk free.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Ending your marriage and living in the shadows of its pain is one thing, but when children (2 and 4 legged ones) are involved it’s not only about you. Divorce Mediation is the way to resolve the past and establish a solid, cooperative foundation to reorganize the relationship with your former partner. Everyone involved will benefit and you will gain peace-of-mind. Divorce Mediation is the cost effective way to negotiate your divorce and sign a Separation Agreement that is equitable and fair. 

Walid Jawad will facilitate the divorce process in a calm and thoughtful manner to help you establish the foundation for your next phase in life.  Walid’s 5-Star google reviews is a testament to his dedication to limiting divorcing couples’ stress during this intense transitional period.

Mediate your divorce virtually from the convenience of your kitchen table for $1,200 and save yourself the average Virginia cost of $15,000 per divorce and $22,000 with children. Make a complimentary appointment with Walid at Aether Mediation here: www.aethermediation.com

Submit your own Community Post here.

Reston Home Tour

Reston Museum’s 20th Reston Home Tour features homes include an award-winning modern masterpiece tucked back in a wooded oasis, a beautifully-landscaped personal “club house” offering amazing views of the golf course, a newly-renovated Reston Town Center townhouse with a water

Ravel Dance Company presents the Nutcracker Ballet

The Ravel Dance Company will present this holiday tradition for the 2nd year at the gorgeous Capital One Hall main stage. It is a wonderful way to start the holiday season. Follow Clara through her journey to the Pine forest,

×

Subscribe to our mailing list