County Notebook

County Notebook

Board Loosens Signage Restrictions  

With brick and mortar stores facing increased competition from online retail and other challenges, the Arlington County Board voted on Nov. 5 to loosen restrictions on signs and displays in Ballston and Pentagon City. The new allowances will allow for a broader range of building facades, including signs for businesses allowed on the second floor of each structure. Among other changes, the new regulations will also allow businesses to project signs and images onto the sides of their buildings.

“I’m less concerned with the typical regulatory paradigm that it’s more difficult to get the toothpaste back in the tube,” said County Board member Christian Dorsey. “Here we can always get restrictive if it is really providing an undue consequence. We should dip our toe into being as flexible as reason would allow.”

County Board member John Vihstadt said he believed the regulations are still too restrictive, but said loosening those regulations was still a good foundation for future work. The changes were approved unanimously.

Hearings on Ballston Graveyard

At its Nov. 5 meeting, the Arlington County Board authorized the advertisement of public hearings on the proposed historic designation of the 19th century Ballston graveyard. The graveyard,  where early Arlingtonian Robert S. Ball Sr. and his family remain buried, was proposed to be removed to make way for a new church, apartment complex with affordable housing, day care and soup kitchen.

The Central United Methodist Church of Ballston assured the board that it would not seek to remove any remains from the graveyard before the county has an opportunity to consider its historic designation.

The board voted unanimously to authorize advertising hearings on the proposed Local Historic District designation of the graveyard, located at 4201 Fairfax Drive concurrent with the proposed site plan application.

“It makes sense to consider the request for Local Historic Designation for the Ball family graveyard as we consider the church’s site plan in early in 2017,” said Arlington County Chair Libby Garvey.  “I look forward to everyone working together to develop a good design that honors our community’s history and supports redevelopment that will benefit current and future residents.”