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Pines of Italy Skips Neighbor Outreach, Asks For Entertainment Permit

by ARLnow.com — January 21, 2013 at 1:10 pm 1,760 23 Comments

Pines of Italy at 3111 Columbia PikePines of Italy restaurant, at 3111 Columbia Pike, is heading toward a possible showdown at the upcoming Arlington County Board meeting on Saturday.

The restaurant has been seeking a live entertainment permit since last spring. The permit, which would allow live music and dancing, has proven controversial with neighbors, who cited problems with noise, violence and public drunkenness at the location in the past. The Board twice deferred consideration of the permit last year, each time asking the owners of Pines of Italy to do more outreach to neighbors.

According to county staff, that outreach has still not occurred. While staff is recommending another deferral, the restaurant is apparently asking for the Board to vote on the permit once and for all.

From the county staff report:

The County Board considered this request at their April and September 2012 meetings, at which the County Board deferred consideration of the use permit due to concerns about Police issues and insufficient outreach to the community. The applicant was directed to establish communication with the community and to work with them on addressing their concerns. The applicant requested a deferral from the December 8, 2012 County Board meeting to the January 26, 2013 meeting with the intent that additional meetings would be scheduled to continue to work to a resolution on issues related to noise and crime impacts. Sufficient outreach has not been completed by the applicant. The intent of scheduling a meeting in December was to organize a representative meeting in which nearby residents and civic association members could discuss specific mitigation measures by which the applicant could implement to address ongoing issues. This meeting did not occur. The applicant does not agree to defer and wishes to be heard by the County Board in January. Staff is recommending that the County Board defer this request for two (2) months to allow sufficient time for the applicant to hold a meeting, which has not been scheduled as of the date of this report, with the Arlington Heights Civic Association to work through ongoing issues. Staff further recommends deferral to allow sufficient time to evaluate the applicant’s outreach and to ensure that issues have been addressed to the extent possible.

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  • Keith

    They have problems with noise, violence and public drunkenness? Why not just move to Clarendon, the county’s designated party zone for those activities?

    • Kat

      Because the county wants to create a new party zone on the Pike — why else get a trolley?

  • Vote already

    Ridiculous Arlington County Staff. Another referral? If they want a vote give them a vote. Enough of this outreach BS.

  • Alex

    I don’t recall my optimal Italian dining experiences coming with entertainment loud enough to bother the neighbors. What do these guys have planned?

    • Dezlboy

      Owner wants to re-open the live entertainment and dance floor. In past this has led to drunken fights, noise, trash etc spilling into adjacent neighborhoods.

    • FedUp

      This place has a history of problems. It has had numerous owners. Restaurant by day, dance hall and who knows what else by night, with constant fighting and noise outside. The structure abuts a residential area. I don’t blame the neighbors for not wanting those issues in their neighborhood.

      • novasteve

        Something tells me that if the patrons were a bunch of white brahs there’d be no objections. For a county that praises diversity, they sure like to do everything they can to prevent it when it comes to something that doesn’t involve taxpayer monies…

        • consistency now

          And yet in all your many other comments you assure us that these groups get preferential treatment…

        • Larchmont

          This white brah patron of the Westover Beer Garden objects to your no objections comment. Sounds like you are saying we can get away with violence, public drunkenness and more noise in Westover. I disagree.

  • bobbytiger

    No outreach, no permit. What else is on the Board’s docket that needs consideration?

  • Seeing it like it is

    If they can’t comply with a simple meeting request with the neighbors by the county, how will they be expected to comply with anything else once the permit is granted?

  • Arlingtonian

    If the owners won’t meet with the neighbors, then the board should vote their permit down “once and for all.”

  • Vibrant

    “then the board should vote their permit down “once and for all.”

    But then where is the “vibrancy” going to come from ???

  • Libby

    Noise, violence, and public drunkeness aside, is the food any good?

    • Old Yeller

      I’m not sure you’d care how good the food is whilst cowering under the table with your hands over your ears.

      • YTK

        Do not cower — join the food fight!!!

  • YTK

    “problems with noise, violence and public drunkenness”
    When this place was Coco’s Casa Mia– was this ever a problem?

    • Frog

      yeah, the Board, after multiple hearings, finally revoked Coco’s entertainment permit.

    • Frog

      Yes. I believe the Board finally revoked Coco’s entertainment permit after multiple hearings.

  • Pikey

    Did Arlnow.com seek comment from the business owner before running this story? Seek comment from the local civic association prez?

    The board was clear (if customarily petty and condescending) the last time this came up that POI needed to talk to neighbors. So are the owners seeking a vote in order to get a “no” and then sue? What’s the real story here?

    • BBMS

      Seems like the applicant has agreed to a long list of conditions to allow them to have live entertainment and dancing, except the one requirement of scheduling a “standing meeting” with the local civic association. Although it was noted that the owners did attend a regular civic association scheduled meeting to interface with the residents.

      They should vote this thing and get if over with.

    • South Awwlington

      Actually this shouldn’t be a story at all. Deny the permit. All these folks had to do was comply with a set of conditions laid out by staff. They chose not to. Sounds like they aren’t serious about getting their permit and surely wouldn’t be serious about neighbors concerns. Buh bye.

  • Tom

    Comments seem to be from the typical set of NIMBYs. If you wanted to live away from people and noise, move to some backwoods hollow in West Virginia. You live in a city people, get over yourselves.

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