The Fairfax City Council last week approved major electronic changes in the city.
Besides awarding a city cable television franchise to Media General Cable of Fairfax County Inc.--expected to be officially signed by Media General and the city in July--the council also approved zoning changes to permit the city's first "recreational restaurant," a pizza-and electronic-game restaurant in the Pickett Shopping Center.
The much-publicized advent of cable television, which some city residents could hook up to starting next year, would take about two years and 75 miles of cable to complete and is estimated to bring the city $36,000 a year in revenue.
The nationwide boom in youth-oriented game restaurants has hit the Washington region. But Fairfax City zoning regulations did not permit such restaurants, according to city spokesman Thomas Welle.
The city planning commission and now the council have both approved the necessary zoning changes, at the request of Showbiz Pizza Place, a national recreational restaurant chain.
A special-use permit also will have to be approved for a specific location, which Welle said will be the Pickett Shopping Center on the city-county line. The front door will be in the city, the restaurant in the county, says Welle. The city and county jointly share in the shopping center's operation, with the city issuing occupancy permits, Welle said.
Bernard M. Fagelson, attorney for Showbiz, said that "the Fairfax City ordinance is one of the most restrictive but we like it that way. There will be no alcohol and no one under 18 is permitted without a parent or guardian."
Showbiz hopes to open this fall, in the building formerly occupied by First and Merchants computer center, if the city approves the special-use permit.