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Arlington Updates Rules Governing Special Events

Certain neighborhood block parties and parades are exempted from regulation now.

The Arlington County Board has approved a new special events management policy that changes how farmers markets are regulated and excludes neighborhood block parties and parades from the permitting process.

Event organizers and county staff developed the policy following two community meetings and an online survey, according to a news release.

Major changes include:

  • Regularly occurring markets — farmers, arts and crafts and flea, among others — will now be governed by the county's special exception use permit process. That process requires a public hearing before the county board. Find more information and the application here.
  • Certain small neighborhood events like block parties and parades will not require a permit.
  • The county will reduce fees charged to event sponsors for police, fire and emergency services if they meet certain qualifications, including not being able to host the event because of the added costs.
  • The county manager will review the number of events that draw 500 or more people to any given area each year in order to make sure no one area is "unduly impacted" by special events.

The Arlington County Board unanimously approved the new rules at its meeting Saturday with no discussion.

For more information, call Arlington County at 703-228-1876 or email specialevents@arlingtonva.us.

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