The Vienna Town Council was set Nov. 15 to make permanent some temporary outdoor-dining rules that both customers and restaurants have made full use of during the pandemic, but instead went with a temporary extension after some residents expressed reservations about noise impacts. Council members voted unanimously to extend the current emergency measures, which allow the town manager to issue special permits for outdoor dining, through the end of the year. According to wtop.com, “The temporary rules, which the Council initially approved in June 2020 and extended multiple times afterward, were set to expire Dec. 7. Because Gov. Northam’s state of emergency expired June 30, the town only may extend the rules another six months through Dec. 31. Town code usually requires restaurants seeking outdoor dining to obtain a conditional-use permit at a cost of $1,500. The process typically takes about three months and involves a review and recommendation by the town’s Planning Commission and a final decision by the Vienna Board of Zoning Appeals. In addition, off-street parking spaces may not be used for outdoor-dining seating areas.” As per wtop.com, “Vienna officials have proposed, and the Planning Commission unanimously recommended, adoption of a zoning ordinance text amendment that would permit outdoor dining via a more streamlined administrative process and conditionally allow the use of off-street parking spaces for dining. Restaurants seeking such privileges would need to submit to town officials scale drawings featuring any proposed seating and improvements. There also would be a new set of fees.”
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Maryam N. is a Senior Writer at Nesbitt Realty. She is an expert on Fairfax County. Maryam has also worked previously as a geologist. She is a foodie and enjoys cooking and exploring new restaurants.