Open Air Markets Allowed in More Areas, Marymount Farmers Market Appr

Published on May 14, 2016

  • Marymount Farmers Market will be first north of Lee Highway

  • Open air market areas expanded

  • Special exception Use Permits needed for markets in some areas

The Arlington County Board today approved revising the Zoning Ordinance to expand areas where open air markets will be allowed. The Board also approved a Use Permit for a Marymount Farmers Market under the revision. The Marymount Farmers Market will be the first open-air market in Arlington north of Lee Highway.

The new market, a joint effort between Field to Table, Marymount University, north Arlington neighbors, civic associations and the Lee Highway Alliance, is expected to open in the parking lot of Marymount University this month. It lans to feature a dozen vendors.

"Arlingtonians love farmers markets," Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said. "It makes sense to allow these markets to open in neighborhoods, where people can walk to buy fresh, healthy, locally grown produce, meats and more — and enjoy seeing their neighbors while they are shopping."

The Board voted unanimously to approve both the Zoning Ordinance and the Use Permit. To read the County staff reports, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item No. 12, A and B for the May 14, 2016 County Board Meeting.

More farmers markets means more access to fresh, local food

Arlington has 11 open air markets approved to operate in public and commercial/mixed-use districts throughout the County. Until the Board's action today, zoning regulations limited open air markets, including farmers markets, to fewer zoning classifications and prohibited them in residential zones. The restriction would have made it impossible to open a farmers market on the Marymount campus, which is zoned R-10.

The amendment allows open air markets, subject to special exception Use Permit approval in County residential and multi-family districts and additional commercial/mixed-use districts. The markets will only be allowed on properties that have an existing public, civic or institutional use and frontage along major streets, as defined in the County's Master Transportation Plan.