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Arlington Board OKs Year-Round Westover Farmers Market

Winter market will be smaller and not impede traffic.

The Westover Farmers Market will be allowed to operate year-round, though with a smaller market from December to April.

Earlier this year, the Arlington County Board approved a permit that allowed Field to Table, an Arlington-based nonprofit, to operate an open-air market from April to November.

The summer market operates from 8 a.m. to noon on Sundays. The winter market, which elected officials approved Tuesday night, will operate from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

So far, the market has operated in the right-of-way of the 1700 block of North McKinley Road, closing it to traffic. That was established as a temporary measure until the market could move most or all of its vendors onto the nearby Reed-Westover building property. The building, reopened in 2009, houses Arlington Public Schools programs and the Westover Branch Library.

The majority of the winter market will operate on the Reed School property, with about 11 vendors on the sidewalk along the school, according to a county staff report. The street will not be closed for the winter market, though some street parking will be restricted.

The revised summer market layout will be partially on the street and partially on school property, the staff report states.

Board members also approved a joinder and consent to an agreement between Field to Table and Arlington Public Schools.

Arlington County Board Vice Chairman Walter Tejada praised the market, saying he sometimes goes there "incognito," and said it fits with recent conversations about urban agriculture and eating locally grown foods.

"It's a great community market," board member Jay Fisette said. "While we talked a lot about the design of this market… and there were some questions from local retail establishments, in the end, it's turned out to be a great partnership."

He added: "It's great to see it evolve to that point."

Board Chairwoman Mary Hynes said an "ongoing conversation" existed between the farmers market and nearby businesses.

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