Arlington County, Virginia, Launches Future of Outdoor Dining Study

October 6, 2022

Arlington County, Virginia, recently launched the Future of Outdoor Dining (FOOD) Study to examine current outdoor dining regulations and develop guidelines for outdoor dining areas on private property and in public rights of way.

The FOOD Study follows the expiration of Arlington County’s emergency order in August 2022, which provided regulatory relief making it easier for property owners to expand restaurant operations outside by building temporary outdoor seating areas (TOSAs). Existing TOSAs will be allowed to operate until February 2023.

The FOOD Study will examine lessons learned from the operation of TOSAs since 2020 and will identify and recommend zoning ordinance amendments and revisions to the outdoor cafe guidelines to accommodate outdoor cafes in the public right of way. The FOOD Study will involve three phases of public engagement:

  • Phase 1 (September-October 2022) — information sharing and gathering.
  • Phase 2 (November 2022-February 2023) — information gathering and release of draft framework.
  • Phase 3 (February-March 2023) — information sharing and adoption of potential zoning amendments and guidelines.

McGuireWoods is available to discuss the FOOD Study and opportunities associated with this potential policy change.