Arlington, VA

Arlington’s long-standing policy of encouraging grocery store development in the county is helping to pave the way for Trader Joe’s to open in Clarendon.

ARLnow.com first reported last month that Trader Joe’s was prepared to sign a lease in the Clarendon Center project if it could get some regulatory issues ironed out. Among them: the retailer wanted permission to have dedicated parking, wanted to display its products outside the store, and wanted a loading dock provision modified.

“I think we managed to work through all three issues,” Arlington County Planning Division Chief Robert Brosnan told us last night. “We do have a policy for shared parking, but we also have a policy for grocery stores, and it really is in the name of encouraging a grocery store that we will modify those requirements in this case.”

Brosnan said he expects county staff to recommend the changes, and for the board to take up the issue at its November board meeting (on either Nov. 13 or Nov. 16). After that point, Trader Joe’s will likely make the final decision on whether to sign a lease.

The site plan amendment process for Trader Joe’s was “not abnormally fast,” Brosnan noted. He added that some additional steps may be required for the store to get permission to display products outside.

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