At its meeting on July 8, 2006, the County Board approved a staff recommendation to end a county-granted special use permit allowing live entertainment at the Palladium night clum in the Garden City shopping area. The neighborhood has long sought improvements in this very visible business area along Lee Highway, and the decision by the Board follows other recent efforts by the county staff to bring change to the area.

The staff report prepared for the Board meeting concluded:
“After renewing the use permit for live entertainment for two (2) months in November 2005 to allow the applicant time to remedy condition violations, the County Board heard the item in January 2006 and, based on the progress made by the applicant tempered by the concerns of the neighborhood, renewed the use permit for six (6) months. During the review process in January, staff committed to both the County Board and the neighborhood to continue to work with the applicant to ensure compliance with the conditions. An administrative review in April 2006 indicated that the applicant continued to operate in compliance with the conditions. However, following this administrative review, the applicant allowed an outside promoter to organize dance parties commencing on April 20, 2006 with live entertainment during times not permitted under the conditions of the use permit. Staff concludes that the activity was an egregious violation of the use permit conditions, and recommends that the County Board not renew the use permit.” 

On May 7, 2005, the County Board considered the renewal of the live entertainment use permit for Garden City’s Palladium nightclub and a new use permit for the Tacos Dona Mary restaurant. While the Board did vote to approve these permits, they did so with fairly restrictive conditions.

The conditions restrict the live entertainment to the hours of 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday only, require a documented commitment for additional parking with the Garden City parking lot of 20 parking spaces for the Palladium and 13 spaces for Tacos Dona Mary, and a short timetable for the next review (3 month staff review and 6 month board review).

In addition, the County’s Director of Planning announced intentions to begin an enforcement effort that will include, for the first time, repair of parking lot paving and other maintenance needs. County Board Chairman Fisette also announced intentions to convene a meeting with property landlords to discuss maintenance and renovation issues.

On June 18, 2004, the Yorktown Civic Association submitted an application for funding for improvements at the Garden City Shopping Center, at the intersection of Lee Highway and George Mason Drive, under Arlington County’s new Commercial Revitalization program.

The program was established with bond funding approved by Arlington voters in the 2002 bond election. It is currently anticipated that the County Manager will select a number of candidate projects from the initial applications sometime in late 2004.

The Yorktown Civic Association also joined in an application by several neighboring civic associations for a broader study of development along the Lee Highway corridor from Lorcom Lane west to N. Lexington Street. The objective of that application is to develop a form-based code approach to site plan development. This is an approach that has been put to use recently in guiding new development along Columbia Pike in south Arlington.