From: District Wire

Chick-fil-A outdoor patio proposal in Tenleytown wins backing of ANC

Rendering of the proposed storefront.

The Tenleytown Advisory Neighborhood Commission unanimously voted to support Chick-fil-A’s public space application to open a restaurant in place of the vacant former Payless Shoesource store on Wisconsin Avenue last Thursday.

The application, sent to the District Department of Transportation, asks to use public sidewalk space at 4505 Wisconsin Avenue NW to create outdoor seating for 24 people, similar to the accommodation offered at neighboring Starbucks and Panera Bread. The company didn’t mention a timeline for opening.

Last month 139 neighbors signed an online petition opposing the chain from opening, arguing that it is an unhealthy option for the neighborhood and citing the company’s same-sex marriage controversy. ANC Chairman Jon Bender told District Wire in November that his commission doesn’t have the authority to stop the company from opening in the area.

“I actually find your CEO’s politics unpleasant,” Bender told company officials before voting, but added, “It’s a public space application; I think this looks fine.”

Although not taking issue with the public space request, Commissioner Tom Quinn suggested the company consider installing some bike racks outside the proposed restaurant as a community benefit.

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“This block badly needs bike racks … it would be nice to incorporate some bike racks in the tree box areas,” Quinn said. “So, there’s an opportunity to amend your application and squeeze some bike racks in.”

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