(Updated at 5:25 p.m.) County staffers are recommending against Westover Market’s application for live entertainment at its popular outdoor beer garden.
The County Board is set to vote on the permit application at its meeting on Saturday. The permit would allow the beer garden to host concerts, open mic nights and other forms of live entertainment.
The presidents of four surrounding civic associations have all written letters to the County Board in favor of live entertainment at the beer garden. The leaders said their associations voted overwhelmingly in favor of a compromise plan between Westover Market and neighbors.
The compromise would allow the beer garden to host live entertainment from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, plus open mic nights from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, provided that the Market keeps the sound at decibel levels consistent with the county noise ordinance. The Market has also agreed to only host outdoor entertainment from April 1 to October 31, according to the staff report.
Nonetheless, some neighbors have remained steadfastly opposed to the beer garden and the noise and crowds it generates. Here’s the summary of the county staff recommendation against the permit:
The applicant is proposing a use permit for outdoor live entertainment in association with a restaurant at the Westover Market, located in the Westover Shopping Center. The applicant requests approval for live entertainment in the Market’s outdoor café, popularly known as the “Beer Garden”. The existence of the Beer Garden itself would not be affected by this decision, only whether live entertainment is permitted in that Beer Garden. Staff’s practice has been to not permit outdoor live entertainment due to the negative effects such use would have on the surrounding area and land use conflicts. The proposed use is located in a low-density area in close proximity to single-family dwellings. Several immediate neighbors have raised concerns over the noise generated by past (and unapproved) live entertainment in the outdoor café Beer Garden. Approving the subject use would likely lead to future requests from restaurants and nightclubs throughout the County for outdoor live entertainment, including the increasingly popular rooftop bars , allowing more intense uses with substantial adverse effects on surrounding residential properties.
Staff does not support the request for several reasons: The outdoor café’s close proximity to single-family residences (residential back yards abut the shopping center parking lot), and the low-density and low-activity character of the Westover Shopping Center area and the “C-1” Zoning District in general; practical difficulties in the enforcement of live entertainment conditions and noise and capacity regulations which largely rely on self-enforcement, and the present applicant’s past history of noncompliance with County ordinances and regulations. Furthermore, only once before has the County Board approved a request for outdoor live entertainment (SoBe in Clarendon, located in a “C-O” zoning district); that was termed an “experiment” and was approved only with the justification that the location was a high-density commercial area far away from residential uses. Therefore, staff recommends denial of the use permit request for a restaurant with live entertainment.
The permit does not address the legality of the beer garden itself.
Hundreds of federal and local law enforcement officers completed a 240-mile memorial bicycle ride in Pentagon City today.
The officers, accompanied by dozens of police cars and motorcycles from law enforcement agencies across the country, completed the annual Road to Hope bike ride on Eads Street, in front of the DEA building. A crowd of DEA employees and the agency’s Black and Gold Pipes and Drums Corps greeted the riders, who were clad in matching red, white and blue bike gear.
The ride, sponsored by the group Law Enforcement United, honors “the service and sacrifice of all law enforcement officers that have died in the line of duty.” After the stop in front of the DEA building, around 3:00 p.m., the cyclists headed to the Pentagon to pay their respects at the Pentagon Memorial.
The event marks the beginning of National Police Week in the D.C. area. See more photos after the jump.
Just remember: it’s for a good cause.
Eleven local comedians — men and women — are going shirt and pant-less on stage tonight to help raise money for the Japanese Red Cross and its tsunami relief efforts.
The show, which organizers are calling “The 11th Street Underwear Showcase/Tsunami Relief Show,” is being held at Eleventh Street Lounge in Clarendon (1041 N. Highland Street) from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. tonight. Tickets are $5.
See the event’s Facebook page for more info.
Couric, an Arlington native, is a graduate of Jamestown Elementary, Williamsburg Junior High and Yorktown High. On Wednesday, May 18, she will return to Arlington to sign her new book, The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives, at the Pentagon City Costco (1200 S. Fern Street).
Hat tip to @DCCelebrity
(Updated at 12:55 p.m.) The all-clear has been given after a bomb threat at Wakefield High School.
The school was evacuated after the threat was called in to 911 at 10:45 a.m., from a pay phone within the school, according to police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal.
The school One class was in the midst of Advanced Placement testing at the time.
Police dogs from five different law enforcement agencies — including Arlington, Pentagon, Fort Myer, Virginia State Police and the U.S. Marshals Service — conducted a sweep of the building. Students and teachers gathered at the school’s football field after the evacuation and are now heading back to class.
The annual Lyon Park-Ashton Heights house tour will be held this weekend.
This year’s event will mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of Ashton Heights. The tour will feature homes built between 1904 and 2009. Along the way there will be antique cars, retro costumes, old documents and demonstrations of green technology.
The tour will take place on Sunday between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. Here’s how organizers are describing it:
Ninety years after real estate developer Ashton Jones created the subdivision he named after himself and appealed to Washingtonians to move to one of the first commuter neighborhoods in Arlington, the Ashton Heights Civic Association kicks off its anniversary celebration with the annual Lyon Park-Ashton Heights Villas & Vistas house tour showcasing the area’s history and charm.
This year’s Villas & Vistas house tour will celebrate Ashton Heights’ 90th anniversary with proceeds benefiting the renovation of the Lyon Park Community Center, a 1920s historic structure. The tour features twelve houses spanning 1904-2009, from bungalows to colonials, and the way residents have adapted them over nine decades through remodeling and green opportunities. Tour participants also will experience some fun vintage surprises–old cars, retro costumes, and original house documents–along the way. Owners will be on hand to demonstrate aspects of green technology, display building materials, point out original details, describe renovation/design parameters, and share product information (as well as fascinating stories about former owners.) A limited number of the Ashton Heights Style Guide, an illustrative how-to on planning additions to period houses, will be available.
See a list of homes on the tour here.
Other events being held this year in honor of Ashton Height’s 90th anniversary include a neighborhood picnic, lectures on neighborhood history and “a celebration of long-time residents.”
The tick of time has brought some changes to the 3500 block of Lee Highway in Cherrydale.
Cherrydale Clockworks closed in October, prompting the landlord to start looking for another tenant. Earlier this year a tenant was found: a psychic who specializes in astrology, palm and tarot card readings.
In this week’s Arlington County crime report, cops busted a man who they say was exposing himself in view of children.
INDECENT LIBERTIES-ARREST, 05/10/11, 5200 block of S. 7th Road. On May 10 at 8 pm, a witness called police about a man exposing himself in view of children. Police located the suspect near Tyrol Hill Park. Thomas Boushier, 63, of Arlington, was charged with Indecent Liberties with Children. He was held without bond.
The rest of this week’s crime report, including a robbery we reported on earlier, after the jump.
Mixed Signals During Fire Alarms at Senior Facility — During fire alarms at The Jefferson senior living facility in Ballston, a recorded voice tells residents to evacuate the 21-story building via the stairwell. Except, for safety reasons, most residents are supposed to remain in their condo with the door shut. This has confused some elderly residents, who risked injury by attempting to walk down long flights of stairs during fire alarms. While acknowledging the inconsistency, both building management and the fire department say they can’t change the recorded message due to “liability” reasons. [Washington Post]
Politico Reporters to Speak at Rosslyn Lecture Series — Politico White House reporter Julie Mason and congressional reporter Jonathan Allen will be the speakers at Rosslyn’s “Rooms with a View” lecture series next week. Mason and Allen will discuss “Washington’s divided political landscape” and take questions from the audience. The event is free (RSVP required). It will be held on Thursday, May 19, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Boeing conference center at 1200 Wilson Boulevard. [Rosslyn BID]
Papery Closing Rumors — There’s more evidence that Clarendon stationery store The Papery may be closing, despite employees’ insistence that they’re preparing to add new stock to the largely empty shelves. The Papery’s space is listed as “for lease” on a commercial real estate firm’s web site. And The Papery’s own web site no longer exists. [Clarendon Culture]
Sign Needed at Rosslyn Safeway? — Is a one-way sign needed across from the Rosslyn Safeway to prevent confused drivers from heading the wrong way on Wilson Boulevard? [Ode Street Tribune]