District residents and the Zoning Commission aren’t the only ones talking about corner stores, the Washington Post and Washington City Paper both published articles this week looking at these neighborhood institutions.
P&C Market (mentioned in the article) is a favorite, close to home for me. They sell the world’s best eggs from the kind of famous Polyface Farms, in season. That’s right – in season eggs. What a treat to be able to walk to the market to pick up these eggs.
Corner stores are small commercial establishments found in lower density residential areas. The existing zoning regulations do not allow commercial uses in our residential districts, which means that existing corner stores are “grandfathered.” Any changes to an existing corner store or a proposal to open a new store would require approval from the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA). As part of the Zoning Regulations Review (ZRR), OP is proposing to allow limited neighborhood serving commercial, service, and arts uses in our rowhouse zones (current R-3 and R-4), with a particular emphasis on encouraging corner grocery stores. You can see OP’s proposal after the jump.
Editor’s Note: We frequently hear some strange things about the Zoning Update. Some appear to be based on actual proposals we’ve made, but have been somewhat garbled or misheard—much like the old children’s game of “telephone”. The Office of Planning has started this “Myth vs. Fact” series as a way to clear up some of the confusion.
Myth: The Zoning Update would allow businesses like dry cleaners and funeral homes in residential zones.
Fact: No one is going to be able to establish a dry cleaner or funeral home in a residential zone. We have proposed a very limited set of permissions that would allow small-scale, neighborhood-serving commercial uses in rowhouse zones. These permissions have been narrowly tailored to allow businesses like a deli (but not a restaurant), a corner store (but not a large-scale grocery) or a shoe repair shop or florist. The proposal also would allow something like a valet service, where clothes could be dropped off and picked up, but any dry cleaning would have to be done off site.