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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com — February 2, 2011 at 11:27 am 745 31 Comments

Punxsutawney Phil Doesn’t See His Shadow — Does that mean there will be an early spring in our area? Meteorologists, as usual, are skeptical. [Capital Weather Gang]

Falls Church Admits Debt to Arlington — Falls Church admits that it does, in fact, owe Arlington $2.2 million for shared use of the Arlington County jail. The city did not say how much of the debt it actually plans to pay. [Washington Examiner]

Complaints About Westover Beer Garden Continue — The Westover Market is moving forward with its plan to build a restaurant and bar, despite the fact that people in the neighborhood continue to complain about everything from noise to smoke coming from fire pits in the market’s outdoor beer garden. [TBD]

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  • QPGirl

    No, he didn’t see his shadow – c’mon early spring!

    • Mkt Common

      Hear, hear!

  • Jane

    He actually did not see his shadow.

  • Phil

    I didn’t see my shadow.

  • Josh S

    I guess the squeaky wheel gets the grease. But I wonder how many “people in the neighborhood” are complaining about the Westover beer garden? I’m guessing no more than 10-15. Versus how many want it? Versus how many don’t care? Guess who is in the minority.
    And what is additionally annoying about this kind of knee-jerk reactionary complaining is that – a BIG reason why they are complaining is because it is new and different. If the damn thing had been there when they moved to the neighborhood, they would have shrugged their shoulders and not one of them would have thought to complain.

    • Suburban Not Urban

      So what amount of change is OK. Its OK to put an outdoor cooking facility(because you are too cheap to put in a proper indoor kitchen). Well what if someone opens a drycleaner next door to your home with constant traffic running by your home endangering your kids travelling to school and cleaning chemical fumes drifting toward you home. Worse what if they open a brothel, crack house, porn studio or halfway house next to your house is that OK. What about tearing down everything on the block across the street and building an office park without sufficient parking. That’s what zoning if for – to help someone making a serious(even life changing) investment have some certainty about the future.

      • JamesE

        I would be fine with the brothel and porn studio, but not the crack house.

        • CW

          I laughed really hard at the phrase “open…a crack house”.

          The real question is, would the grand opening of the crack house get a plug on ARLnow? What about construction pics?

          Sorry…couldn’t resist…

          • JamesE

            CRCK Shack !

          • jenn

            thanks for the chuckle!

      • CW

        Ahh, the old “slippery slope” argument. Just watch…you let those crazies go ahead with their damn-fool biergarten selling $10 half-liters, and before you know it, there will be crack houses and brothels on every corner!

        • mehoo

          +1,000,000

      • Burger

        Of course, there are a number of reasons why that doesn’t happen. first, being zoning restrictions. Given there are a number of cooking facilities right next door there is no zoning issues.

        Second, change is good. embrace it.

    • CW

      In other news, can someone use the phrase “Gobbler’s Knob” at least once, somewhere?

    • Lou

      I think the neighborhood complaint issue is kind of a red herring at this point. The guy has undertaken a renovation project way above the need to mitigate any outdoor noise issues. The neighbors were not complaining about the bathrooms not meeting code. The neighbors were not complaining about not having proper food service equipment in place to serve food as a restaurant. His main opponent at this point is money and county inspectors.

    • charlie

      THIS is the Arlington Way. One or two people whining CAN make a difference. And they will overrule the silent majority. Sad.

    • CW

      In response to the original post about how many people could be upset, if you want a very rough idea, go here:

      http://magellan.co.arlington.va.us/schoolmap/WebPages/Map/FundyViewer.aspx

      Turn on parcels and buildings, decide on what you think is a reasonable “circle of influence” (distance from the market), and count em up!

    • Burger

      The complainers are likely the owner of the Forest Inn and Lost Dog.

      It is more than likely, if the Westover market didn’t make the changes it would be closed. How much ambiance does a plywood cover building give you. That would be an almost impossible spot to lease out.

    • The Noze Bros

      I live about 3/4 of a mile from the Westover Market (as the crow flies) and on a clear day, in the evening I can hear the music coming from the market (when they were playing).

      I can also hear the bells from the Post Office, and most of the time the metro train on 66.

      I actually like the sounds, as it reminds me that there’s life out there.

    • Westover

      We love the beer garden at our house. It brings life to the village and brings friends from across town. My kids like the fact that we can walk from our house to a “concert”, and they can dance around with their other litte friends in the 2-8 crowd. Dad and Mom like that we can have a few beers and not worry about driving home with the kids in the car.

  • Southeast Ben

    Maybe neighbors are worried that Charlie Sheen will drop by and make an appearance (see hilarious image).
    http://www.tmz.com/2011/02/02/charlie-sheen-photo-george-santo-pietro-porn-star-house-photo-porn-family-binge-drugs-alcohol-cocaine/
    Personally, I can’t see who wouldn’t want to party with Charlie.

    • Katie

      Who wouldn’t? Try all women. Those who aren’t being paid a fortune, that is. Oh wait, even they have standards (sorta).

  • V Dizzle

    I really like beer. The garden part is inconsequential.

  • Daryl

    I don’t live in the neighborhood, but I know people who do, and none of them support the beer garden. Based on what they tell me, if the owners hadn’t started with the amplified music, people would have said live and let live. They were doing barbecue and beer for quite a while with no complaints.

    Sorry, but when people come home on a Friday night to their suburban home, they shouldn’t have to put up with listening to someone else’s music blaring. That’s why you move to the suburbs.

    • CW

      I am not a county noise ordinance expert and I’m far too lazy to look it up right now – if anyone has it off the top of their head, I’d be much obliged…

      • Bob

        All Virginia noise ordinances, whether Arlington’s or Gobbler’s Knob’s, were ruled unconstitutional by a state judge a year or 2 ago if the means of enforcement included any type of “reasonableness” standard (which is traditionally the baseline of enforcement of any traditional noise code)… Essentially, unless the enforcement authority has a certified noise measuring device operated by a certified operator, there is legally bum-diddly anyone (police, code enforcement, or the mayor of Gobbler’s Knob) can do in VA… As for me, I live right off the west end of Rt 50, and can hear the orange line Metro trains entering & exiting the tunnel off 66 on a quiet night… I am trying to have the orange line shut down for ruining my quality of life.

        • CW

          Bob late post but thanks – I did not know this! Good information and excellent use of Gobbler’s Knob references.

    • Skeptical

      Thanks Daryl. Somebody gets it.

      I don’t live near the beer garden, but if I did I would be calling every night there were music to complain. I shouldn’t have to hear someone else’s party in my living room. This is why the county has a noise ordinance.

      I like beer. I like drinking beer outdoors at brew pubs and so on. But if I am in earshot of rooms where people want to go about their lives, put their kids to bed, listen to their own music and enjoy an open window, I don’t demand the right to drink it while listening to whatever music I like as loud as I care to. What part of common civility don’t people understand?

    • Westover

      I live in the neighborhood. The music is not that loud and the only folks I have met that has a real problem with it live in the houses that back up to the parking lot. I can sort of under stand their distaste for it, but they did buy a house that borders a commercial zone.

  • John Andre

    As I indicated in the CWG comments we’ll have six more weeks of winter. The sun came out before sunset.

    In addition I don’t see any indication of a pattern change involving a persistent ridge developing over us from the south and southwest. Such an upper air pattern shift would give us mild southwesterly winds and a shot at an early spring.

    • borf

      “The sun came out before sunset”?

      Doesn’t it always do that? ;)

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