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Arlington Chamber Leads Coalition for Action Against Virginia Land Use Court Ruling
The Virginia Supreme Court recently ruled in Berry vs. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors that Fairfax County’s zoning ordinance was void due to its adoption occurring at an online public hearing. The Court specifically ruled that any action that Fairfax County took at virtual public hearings that was beyond the essential business of government was not adhering to the Open Meetings laws that existed in the Commonwealth before July 2021. This issue was raised as a concern by Chamber members worried about the potential impact.

The Chamber is extremely concerned that any municipal and county ordinances approved in virtual public hearings before July 2021 now face legal uncertainty. The Arlington Chamber formed a coalition with other local and regional chambers of commerce and business organizations to express our shared concern to Governor Youngkin and to General Assembly leaders urging them to act to contain the consequences of these rules. The coalition is asking for legal language, in the budget amendments or through separate legislation, that either overturns the Court decision or contains the effects of the ruling to the specific ordinance in Fairfax County. 
Commercial Market Resiliency Phase 4
Veto Session of the General Assembly
The Arlington Chamber continues to champion for updates to the Zoning Code, and commends the County for the continued expanded by-right uses as part of the Commercial Market Resiliency Initiative. On Saturday April 22 the County Board moved forward the newest phases of the Initiative, amending the Zoning Ordinance permitting indoor recreation facilities like arcades. The Board also advertised amendments that would permit by-right food delivery and communal “ghost kitchens” for restaurants. The Chamber has welcome the Initiative as a needed reimagining the Zoning Ordinance to reflect the businesses of the 21st century and make Arlington more nimble in attracting businesses in emerging sectors. 
The Virginia General Assembly held a veto session on April 12 to consider any legislation that Governor Youngkin either vetoed or sent back to the General Assembly with edits. This concludes the regular 2023 session, though the Budget Conference continues to meet to consider the adoption of an amendment to the State Biennial Budget. The Chamber ended session in a positive position, as bills pertaining to workforce development, taxation, and transportation were signed by the Governor.
Advocacy on Arlington Restaurant Initiative
The Chamber requested that the County remove Arlington Restaurant Initiative (ARI) accreditation as a mandatory requirement for the restaurants within the Clarendon Live Entertainment Group (CLEG). Until last year, ARI accreditation was an optional program open to all restaurants. While the Chamber supports the goals of the program, we are concerned with the program being a mandate for all, and is asking the County restore its previous status as an optional initiative. The Chamber is concerned that based on input from a member restaurant that the standards in ARI can confuse employers, and may not be necessarily beneficial to every single affected restaurant. The Chamber looks forward to continuing to work with the County to create a solution.
The Chamber is pleased to announce the 2023 Arlington County Board Candidate Forum. The primary election is on June 20 and general election is on November 7. This business-themed candidate forum features a moderated discussion of topics important to the Arlington business community with the candidates running for the Arlington County Board. The event will provide candidates the opportunity to engage with local business leaders and to address the key issues affecting the business community.

Candidates:
- Audrey Clement (Independent)
- Maureen Coffey (Democrat)
- Susan Cunningham (Democrat)
- Jonathan Dromgoole (Democrat)
- Natalie Roy (Democrat)
- Julius "J.D." Spain (Democrat)
- Tony Weaver (Democrat)
Grand Sponsor
Upcoming Government Affairs & Economic Development Committee Meetings:
Wednesday, May 3
Arlington County Sheriff Candidate Forum - James Herring, incumbent Jose Quiroz, Wanda Younger
Wednesday, May 17
Government Engagement and Communication with Businesses
Unless otherwise noted, the Government Affairs & Economic Development Committee meets virtually from 9:00-10:00 a.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. All Chamber members are invited to participate in these meetings.
If you have any policy questions or an issue where the Chamber may be able to provide advocacy support, please contact our Government Affairs Manager, John Musso, at (703) 525-2400 ext. 203 or advocacy@arlingtonchamber.org.