Tag Archives: Washington DC

Chick-Fil-a in Fort Lincoln: To Drive-thru, or not to Drive-thru, that is the variance.

Chick-Fil-a is slated to be the latest fast-casual franchise restaurant at the Shops at Dakota Crossing in Fort Lincoln.  The site is located in the grassy lot in front of Lowes as seen in the photos above.  Early reactions on social media from Fort Lincoln residents were mixed once word of the selection was made.  Some residents welcomed the chain while others are opposed; while some are for political reasons others are still concerned about the selection of restaurants hoping for healthier selections such as Panera Bread which have declined to take up residence at the Shops according to the Developers.  The site was initially slated to be a bank with drive up tellers, but according to the developers banks weren’t looking to expand.

According to the BZA Application the Developer would like special exception relief to allow a drive-thru.

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According to the application fast food establishments are  permitted as a matter-of-right and that the special exception is for the drive-thru.  Retailer aside, I’m concerned with the narrative of the application which in my opinion inaccurately details the true conditions of that location as well as the engagement and reaction with both the ANC directly and the community.  Some of the items that stick out to me are:

  1. “Given the excellent vehicular access to the property…” We all know that access in and out of the shopping center is still challenging, even with the center  being less than 100% leased and operational.
  2. “Far removed from any residential property…”  The entire shopping center is surrounded by residential development.
  3. “There will be no adverse impacts associated with the drive-through…”  There is no discussion of walkability and the ability of pedestrians to safety and comfortably access the shopping center.
  4. The Applicant has reached out to the affected ANC and community groups and there is strong support of this application.”; Complete Lie.  Receipt of the application by mail was on August 29, 2017; that was the first official notification to the ANC Commissioner.

Aside from the 4 items above, there is already concern from residents with the flow of traffic in the shopping center. Most pedestrians proceed at the mercy of courteous drives to access the majority of the pedestrian cross walks.  The walkability of the shopping center with a high volume drive-thru will impact how people can safely access the center and the community needs to be involved in the planning process for how and what is implemented.  Some of the obvious concerns are the following:

1. Existing infrastructure leaves pedestrians at the mercy of vehicles that are coming from Rt. 50/NY Ave. which have complete right of way and no required stops.

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2. Traffic flow along market street which has two pedestrian cross walks ( at this location) which has no required stops except when pedestrians are present.  (Cars decide whether not to stop at these signs.  Most times they do not.)

3. Where’s the traffic study to determine how the location of this drive-thru will contribute to back ups at the intersection of Market Street and Fort Lincoln Drive. As well as the on ramp onto the shopping center where one lane is often backed up for the Costco Gas station.

4. Trash along Fort Lincoln Drive between 33rd and 31st place as a result of cars which often park and throw trash out of the window.  (The city will not place trash cans in this location after multiple request)

5. The aesthetics of the building are counter intuitive to the work by the National Capital Planning Commission to ensure that the building is architecturally appropriate as the second building seen entering the city.  Chick-Fil-a has many concepts for their stores and for the store that serves as the gateway to the nations capital is generic and not neighborhood oriented.

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Overall, while a restaurant is consistent with the property use, a high capacity drive-thru in a shopping center with minimally regulated/enforced traffic infrastructure is not. The developer needs to officially address the concerns of the community and how to accommodate the adverse impacts to the community.  The meeting for the drive-thru variance is on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 7:00pm.  The meeting will be held at Mount Horeb Baptist Church.


 

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Field Trip – Rescheduled. Details to come!

Proposed Alternative Alighnement

Due to an unfortunate death to someone close to me the field trip has been rescheduled.  Details of the new date coming soon.  Thank you.

Join ANC 5C03 along with the Capital Trails Coalition and WABA as we walk our proposed connection to the Anacostia River Trail.  This connection has been a “long time coming”and will provide a vital transportation alternative for residents of Ward 5.  I will post another article on the background of the project and how we got to where we are today.  DDOT under Mayor Bowser’s administration has done a tremendous job responding to the disparity of transit alternatives in the community.  DDOT has assigned a consultant for the environmental assessment which brings us another step closer to this becoming a reality.

Please note that this is a walking tour, and is not yet accessible by bicycle.  However, you can secure your bike at the meet up location.

Please register using the link below!

Register Here for the Field Trip!

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Easter Eggs & Chicken Biscuits: Events this weekend 4/15/17 in Fort Lincoln/Gateway!

Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. will open its doors to the public beginning this Saturday, April 15th at 9:00 AM with its fresh-fast restaurant. Eager diners and biscuit enthusiasts are encouraged to stop by the new location in the Gateway Neighborhood on 2301 Bladensburg Road N.E. to fill their stomachs with a selection of crave-worthy biscuit sandwiches, juicy fried chicken, refreshing salads and creamy frozen “Cultshakes” by DC’s premier ice creamery, Milk Cult.

“The opening of Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. drive-thru marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for our growing company,” states CEO Ayeshah Abuelhiga. “We want to extend a huge thank you to our Union Market customers as we end our pop-up tenure there. It is our hope that our closing provides another eager small business the same opportunity to gain exposure and build a dedicated following, just the way that we have.”

Complete with a large parking lot and family-friendly activities, the Grand Opening Weekend is an event not to be missed. To kick off the Grand Opening weekend, the first 100 purchasing customers will receive a card entitling them to one free breakfast sandwich every day for 90 days after opening. Additionally, guests can utilize a limited time Lyft promo code to receive 20% off rides to or from the Mason Dixie Drive-Thru.

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Our awesome neighbor Kellie Bengtson along with the Fort Lincoln Civic Association is hosting the First Annual Easter Event.  There are lots of activities planned for the community for the family even the leashed furry ones! Come out and join your neighbors for this fantastic event!

More than 90,000 views since 2013. Fort Lincoln Has A Voice. Blog Stats 2013-2017

When I moved back to Fort Lincoln in 2013 I grew incredibly frustrated on the lack of coverage, engagement, and updates with community development.   Even more concerning was the pace and amount of development which had no input from most existing and the majority of new residents.  Today, we not only reach our community but communities across the world in 123 countries with over 90,000 views since 2013. While we still have a long way to go, I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on where we started and where we are headed.  Part of what will keep us relevant is our ability to be informed residents and I will continuously strive to allow Gatewaytothtecitydc.com  to be a platform where residents can get information regarding activity in their community especially as it relates to Fort Lincoln.  This is not an opinion blog, although sometimes it gets injected  but it is simply a conduit of information for the community to consider and act upon.

 

Where do we go from here?

I now need input from you.  What  other types of news and updates would you like to see?  Is it activity from other developments and communities, more information on meetings, TED Talk info, or more frequent post.  Provide me your feedback and I will work with you to get us the information we need.  Thanks for the support and I look forward to an exciting 2017!

 

Sincerely

Robert Looper III, Founder & Contriubutor

Gatewaytothecitydc.com

Petsmart to Host First Puppy Love Party @ the Fort Lincoln Store!

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Come party with Party with Petsmart on Saturday February 11, 2017!!!!    There will be Adoptable dogs and cats from @City Dogs Rescue, games, prizes, raffles, SMOOCH A POOCH kissing photo booth, giveaways, free bark bar, human snacks, caricature drawings and much more. They will have a “bone guess” jar game! The pet parents who comes closest to guessing the number of cookies in the jar will get to take the treats home! Our bark bar will have a variety of doggie snacks so your pups will get to sample an assortment of snacks!!

Feel free to bring your leashed pets and two legged children are welcome as well!
A few lucky participants could even win a $5 or $10 gift card or our “doggie basket” raffle!!!
City Dogs/City Kitties will have adorable dogs and cats that are in need of a furrrever home! Come by for a great time and maybe even add a new addition to the family!

RSVP for the event using the link below.  The store is located in the Shops at Dakota Crossing!

https://www.facebook.com/events/814941825321284/?notif_t=plan_user_invited&notif_id=1485885147605388