Learn more about the use permit process here, and find answers to frequent questions below.
What is the purpose of use permit conditions?
Use permit conditions are included in the staff response to applications, and their purpose is to mitigate adverse impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods. These can include: hours of operation of the use permit, working with communities, and neighborhood advisory committees.
What is the role of a civic association in the use permit process?
The role of a civic association is to review the use permit application and provide input on how the use impacts the neighborhood and suggest methods to mitigate adverse impacts. Contacting and receiving input from a civic association is a way to avoid conflict between the proposed use and the neighborhood.
Does the County Board always concur with the Arlington County staff/County Manager recommendation?
The County Board does not always concur with the County Manager’s recommendation. In some instances, the County Board, after public testimony, may determine that it is in the best interest of the county to differ from the County Manager’s recommendation. See the County Board’s meeting schedule here.
What is the difference between a live entertainment use permit and a dance hall permit?
A dance hall permit, obtained and issued through the Zoning Office, allows patrons to dance on the premises in return for payment. Live entertainment allows the applicant to provide performances, either live or recorded. Performances could include, but are not limited to, music, dance, and comedic acts.
Does a restaurant serving alcohol require a use permit?
A restaurant serving alcohol does not require a use permit. A restaurant is a by-right use that requires no permitting. The serving of alcohol is issued through the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control.
Who do I call with concerns about a use or use permit conditions?
If citizens believe that a permitted use is violating its conditions, they should contact Code Enforcement to register their complaint.
How long does it take to get a use permit?
Generally the process takes approximately 68 days from the date of final filing. Occasionally, there are circumstances that may require further analysis and therefore, additional time is necessary.
What uses require a use permit?
These uses, services, and establishments require a use permit.
Does the County control the hours of operation of a business?
Uses required by the Zoning Ordinance to obtain a use permit may have the hours of operation limited by the County Board. The county cannot control the hours of a business that is not required to have a use permit (a by-right use). However, the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control has restrictions on the hours alcohol is served.
Does a new owner of a business trigger a new use permit application?
A new owner of an existing business does not need to apply for a new use permit. A new owner can assume the terms of the existing use permit. If the new owner in any way alters the approved permit operation, an amendment is necessary. A new owner does trigger a new Certification of Occupancy.
Does all music associated with a restaurant require a use permit?
No. Recorded music can be broadcast to the outside of the restaurant, provided it meets the noise regulations. This type of music is not considered live entertainment.
- Use Permit Overview
- Special Exception Use Permit Application
- Types of Use Permits
- BZA Use Permits/Variance