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County Staff Recommends Fairlington Farmers Market

Crystal City Farmers MarketThe Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation has given the thumbs up to a proposal to put a farmers market in the open space next to Fairlington Community Center.

The request, by farmers market organizer Field to Table, will eventually be heard by the Arlington County Board and will include a public input process. If approved, the Fairlington Farmers Market will be the ninth in the county.

After careful consideration, the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation has determined that a farmers’ market is an appropriate use of the open space adjacent to the Fairlington Community Center,” The DPR said in a statement. “The site’s location, characteristics, context of the surrounding neighborhood, circulation and parking access appear to favorably support a farmers’ market.”

The community center is owned by the county, so county staff held two public outreach meetings — one in April and one in May — to determine whether the community was receptive to the market. According to the county’s report on the market, there were some concerns about parking, trash and noise levels, but the community was generally supportive of the concept.

There are 145 on- and off-street parking spaces, staff said, and other markets around the county do not exceed the Noise Ordinance if they do not play amplified music or sounds. In an online survey, two-thirds of respondents said they would approve of a market in the community center’s open space.

Of the county’s eight farmers markets, the closest one to Fairlington is the new Arlington Mill Farmers Market.

“Although the County does not currently seek the establishment of new farmers’ markets,” the staff report reads, “we recognize the important role that they can play in place-making and community wellness, a value shared by the Fairlington-Shirlington community.”

It’s unclear at this point when the market will go before the County Board for approval.

File photo

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