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Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024
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From: District Wire

Petition circulates to block Chick-fil-A opening in Tenleytown


(From online petition)

Updated 1:05 p.m. 

Weeks after news broke that Chick-fil-A is exploring a Tenleytown location, a new online petition is rallying residents to oppose the fast-food chain from opening.

The petition, addressed to Tenleytown Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Anne Wallace, had 93 supporters as of 12:50 p.m. Wednesday. Opponents are worried kids from neighborhood schools will become junk-food eaters.

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“Do parents want their kids at nearby schools Janney, Wilson, and Deal to be eating this at such an early age?” the petition reads. “Chick-fil-A, a popular chain among young adults and teens[,] will just cause students at these schools to be unhealthy.”

In early November, District Wire first reported the chain filed a public space application with the city that shows designs to open at the former Payless store at 4505 Wisconsin Avenue NW, between Starbucks and Panera Bread. The proposal envisions an outdoor patio with seating for 24. Chick-fil-A will come before the Tenleytown ANC at its December public meeting, according to ANC Chair Jon Bender.

Bender thinks the petition should instead be addressed to Chick-fil-A directly, as the ANC doesn't have authority to bar an owner of a private property from leasing to a company. "I’d much prefer to see something other than Chick-Fil-A fill that space, but so far the only thing upon which our advice must carry great weight is the public space application," he wrote in an email.

Some opponents also bring up the chain’s same-sex marriage controversy, in which some senior executives of the company publicly voiced opposition to marriage equality in 2012.

“I would say that as a restaurant choice it is not very healthy; as an economic choice for Tenleytown, fast food chains are a down market option and not local; and as a corporate neighbor, Chick-Fil-A is famously homophobic,” resident Lance Potter wrote in Tenleytown’s local Yahoo email listserv.

Commissioner Wallace did not immediately return a request for comment.

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