Zoning Handbook

Corner Store: A limited commercial and service use in residential rowhouse zones, oriented to serve the immediate neighborhood.

Only a corner store for which the use is a fresh food market or grocery store devoted primarily to the retail sale of food is permitted as a matter-of-right subject to certain provisions. All other corner store uses detailed in Subtitle U § 254 are only allowed by special exception, subject to conditions enumerated in Subtitle U §§ 254.14 and 254.15.

Corner stores can be used as a retail, general service, arts design and creation, or eating and drinking establishment, but are subject to provisions in the regulations.

Examples: grocery stores; fitness center; yoga studio; shoe repair; hair salon and barber; artist studio, furniture making; photographic studio; café, coffee shop, or an ice cream parlor.

cornerstores

Zones Allowing Corner Stores

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Corner stores are permitted in the R-3, R-13, R-17, R-20, RF-1, RF-2, and RF-3 zones. These zones are primarily rowhouse zones. In addition, a corner store may only be located as follows:

  • On a lot that is at the intersection of two generally perpendicular streets;
  • Not within 500 ft. of another corner store being used as an eating and drinking establishment;
  • Not within 500 ft. of more than three other corner stores being used as retail, general service, or arts, design, and creation uses;
  • In the R-3, R-13, or R-17 zones, on an interior or through lot with a building that was built prior to May 12, 1958, for the purpose of a nonresidential use;
  • In the R-3, R-13, or R-17 zones, no nearer than 500 ft. to a property line of a lot in a MU or NC zone;
  • In the R-20 zone, on an interior or through lot with a building that was built prior to May 12, 1958, for the purpose of a nonresidential use, and only if the building was used for a corner store use within the previous three years; and
  • In the R-20 zone, no nearer than 750 ft. to a property line of a lot in an MU or NC zone.

Corner stores are not permitted as follows:

  • On an alley lot;
  • On a lot or within a building containing more than one dwelling unit or another corner store;
    Within a building that is accessory to the principal building on the lot;
  • On an R zoned lot within Squares 1327 or 1350, 1351, 1352, or 1353 inclusive; or
  • In the R-20 zone, on an interior or through lot that has not been used for corner store uses for three or more consecutive years shall not be deemed eligible for a corner store use.

corner store

Corner stores can be used as a retail, general service, arts design and creation, or eating and drinking establishment, but are subject to specific provisions in the regulations. Examples may include, but are not limited to: grocery stores; fitness center; yoga studio; shoe repair; hair salon and barber; artist studio, furniture making; photographic studio; café, coffee shop, or an ice cream parlor.

Limitations

A corner store may only be up to 1,200 square feet (not including cellar space) and is limited to ground floor and cellar space. There are also provisions for where they may or may not be located within the above referenced zones. Only one external sign may be displayed on the building’s façade, provided that the sign is not illuminated and is flush-mounted.

Additionally the following conditions apply:

  • No on-site cooking of food or installation of grease traps.
  • No sale of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption.
  • No external storage of materials or trash.
  • No on-site use or storage of dry cleaning chemicals.

 

A fresh food market or grocery store devoted primarily to the retail sale of food is allowed subject to the following conditions:

  • They must meet the aforementioned guidelines.
  • The use cannot operate between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
  • A minimum of 40% of customer-accessible sales and display area must be dedicated to the sale of a general line of food products intended for home preparation and consumption.
  • A minimum of 20% of retail space must be dedicated to the sale of perishable goods that include dairy, fresh produce, fresh meats, poultry, fish and frozen foods; and
  • A maximum 15% of the gross floor area of the corner store located on the ground floor of the building may be devoted to the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption only when approved as a special exception.

For more information on the following topics, please see the corresponding referenced sections: