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Juice Box in North Old Town headed to Planning Commission after zoning violation

Juice Box in Old Town North (image via City of Alexandria)

A juice trailer parked in North Old Town is headed to Planning Commission review next month after a zoning inspection triggered by a complaint found it was not in compliance with city ordinance.

Juice Box Old Town is a cold-pressed mobile juice bar set up at 500 North Union Street, near Founders Park. The Juice Box website describes it as a perfect site to catch locals and visitors walking along the river. What it was not, a staff report said, was in compliance with city zoning ordinance.

“On June 10, 2022, a zoning inspection of the subject site was conducted after the City received complaints of the operation of a commercial trailer,” the report said. “A Zoning Inspector confirmed that a trailer was being used as retail juice establishment at the subject site and the proprietor was informed of the need to bring the trailer into compliance through Special Use Permit approval. To bring the business into compliance with the City’s Zoning Ordinance, the applicant has submitted the current application for an after-the-fact SUP review.”

It is likely Juice Box will get that approval, though, with the staff report recommending approval and saying the trailer makes a welcome addition to the city’s efforts to make the waterfront more vibrant.

“Staff recommends approval of the applicant’s request for a temporary trailer. The temporary trailer would provide a desirable amenity in close proximity to the City’s active waterfront area and in a location where this relatively small business would not impact the surrounding commercial and residential neighborhood.”

The trailer turns the empty lot into a space for beverages; offering pressed juice, water and coffee at a walk-up window.

The report also said there’s no reason to believe the trailer would impact parking of traffic flow.

Juice Box is a seasonal business, and the report said the trailer will be permitted for up to two years beginning on April 1, 2023, when the business reopens. Additional years could be approved via an administrative special use permit.

The Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 6.

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