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Taylor Outdoor Seating is Back

Outdoor seating at Taylor Gourmet’s City Vista location is back.


The outdoor seating first appeared in May for a few weeks before going back into storage. My understanding is Taylor rolled them out after they applied to DCRA but before the permit was granted and an inspector came by and levied a $2500 fine.

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Comments

  1. 1

    @anonym says

    So do they have the permit now? I was at the ANC meeting a couple weeks ago and the manager went running out of the room all pissy because the ANC voted not to vote on the outdoor seating until September because Taylor completed ignored the licensing laws the first time they put out the tables and then refused to return any messages from the ANC members thereafter.

    Another fine in the works or did they get the license without ANC approval (which would not surprise me)?

  2. 2

    FourthandEye says

    According to the Taylor Gourmet site, which I linked to, they do have the permit now.

    I can understand their frustration. The public space on K Street in front of City Vista was designed expressly for cafe seating. Taylor is open until 9pm so late night noise is not a part of the equation. This should have been a slam dunk not something that takes 4-5 months.

  3. 3

    Dan Maceda says

    Why was it necessary to get a permit at the point of placing the seating as the original permits that were part of the original application called for outdoor seating. Apparently DCRA approved the setting up of Taylors but DDOT approves the public space permit and apparently it is Holy Writ that these two agencies could not possibly cooperate or coordinate on behalf of citizens and businesses

  4. 4

    anonym says

    1. You must be new to DC if you think 2 agencies in DC talk to each other!

    2. The public space permit requires taxes to be paid for use of the space. They were knowingly operating without paying their taxes. How is that fair to anyone but themselves?

  5. 5

    DCer says

    DDOT issued the permit despite Taylor’s missing the ANC6 Transportation Committee meeting and despite the formal dissent from ANC6C. DDOT is a rogue agency and one of the most unresponsive agencies in the District. I have never been able to get even the simplest thing done through DDOT without getting the mayor’s office or my city councilman involved.

    Anonym is also quite right that DC agencies do not talk to each other. Think about the process for qualifying for the Homestead deduction. You have to supply the tax office with information that the District already has on file. Inefficiency at its worst!

  6. 6

    FourthandEye says

    @DCer: “DDOT issued the permit despite Taylor’s missing the ANC6 Transportation Committee meeting and despite the formal dissent from ANC6C.”

    What was the reason for ANC6C’s dissent? I can only go by what’s mentioned in these comments. Was it that Taylor missed a subcommittee meeting? If so, that’s a little weak. I know they’ve been to numerous ANC meetings in the last 18 months and their concept is very basic and shouldn’t need to be explained a dozen times to the same people. Is it that they put their outdoor seating out before the permit was 100% through the process? Yes, that was improper of them but they incurred a hefty $2500 fine. I fail to see how the ANC should unilaterally decide they are going to try to issue their own punitive action by deciding to defer two months until September.

    This business is a tremendous asset not a nuisance. The public space in front of City Vista was designed expressly for cafe seating. From what I can tell the only grave thing the owners did wrong the city hit them hard in the pocketbook for. Today they have the seating via permit. I think we should just move on rather than continuing to carry grudges about Taylor not attending a subcommittee meeting, or DDOT not waiting outing the ANC’s over-posturing on this application.

  7. 7

    @anonym says

    Prior to missing the transportation subcommittee meeting they also failed to return several calls to ANC members that stopped in to the establishment on multiple occasions, left their card, and asked that someone with authority contact them. That is why the one ANC guy ratted them out which caused the fine. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

    They couldn’t vote to approve the seating because it is a process and Taylor decided to skip parts of the process and there is no August meeting, which is why it was deferred 2 months. If they skip and get approved, then everyone else should too I guess?

    As a side note from the meeting, I have never seen anyone as rude as the Taylor manager who attended the full ANC meeting. The ANC rep was in mid-sentence talking to the guy and he packed up his papers and left the room. I can’t imagine why the ANC decided not to just go ahead and push their application through.

    Maybe if their sandwiches were half as good as The Italian Store they would have been rubber-stamped :)

  8. 8

    Jason says

    I could be wrong but I don’t believe engaging the ANC for consent on an outdoor seating application is a mandatory part of the process. My understanding is it is suggested and having ANC support is viewed as being favorable bonus for the application when it is reviewed.

    If this is true then Taylor wasn’t skipping required parts of the process. They simply were not obeying all the protocol of the optional part of the process to the degree that the ANC commissioners wanted. That alone shouldn’t be enough for ANC to oppose if residents were not concerned or opposed.

  9. 9

    Cary Silverman says

    When I was an ANC Commissioner in Logan Circle, we routinely reviewed public space permits. Is it required? Well, the public space application requires the applicant to list the ANC and the placard that is supposed to go up before issuance also must include the ANC. After the Public Space Committee (it is actually an interagency committee led by DDOT) receives an application), the regulations require it to forward the application to the ANC. At that point, the ANC reaches out to the applicant if it is interested in considering the application. In many other cases, the business is proactive and contacts the ANC before or as it files the application to seek its support. Some ANC’s may not review public space permits, for whatever reason, but a business that doesn’t seek ANC support (or is not responsive to its inquiries) does so at its peril.

    I don’t think the ANC is to blame for not scheduling a special meeting over the summer to get it on an agenda, if that was the issue. Taylor’s could have gone to the ANC even before they opened – obviously, an outdoor cafe was always in the plan.

    Taylor’s is a great and the sidewalk there may be designed for a cafe, but keep in mind that there are many other situations where use of the public space may not leave enough room for people to walk, including the disabled, cause disturbance to adjacent neighbors, or lead to a serious rat problem. I’m appreciative that there is a system in place that ensures residents have an opportunity to consider and address any issues before the city issues a permit, not after.

  10. 10

    Cary Silverman says

    One addition in response to Jason’s comments: “They simply were not obeying all the protocol of the optional part of the process to the degree that the ANC commissioners wanted. That alone shouldn’t be enough for ANC to oppose if residents were not concerned or opposed.”

    It is the ANC’s job to find out of residents are not concerned or opposed — that’s why they need to sit down and consider it at a public meeting. I’d have big concerns if a business was not willing to discuss an issue with the community (i.e. the ANC) and think its legit for the ANC to decide not to vote (or vote against) an application on that basis alone (so long as the ANC made a reasonable request). What happens later when the ANC contacts the owners because there is a rat problem caused by the outdoor cafe. Will they consider a call back “optional?”

  11. 11

    RobA says

    @Anonym(8/12) is correct with why the ANC approval process was delayed. The owners of Taylor never got in touch with the ANC Commmissioners who came calling to discuss the issue nor did they attend either the Committee meeting or the Full ANC meeting. They instead sent the manager who was not able to answer the questions posed by the Commission. ANC 6C has been very supportive of Taylor’s establishment but the process is in place for a reason and in place for all establishments – Taylor wanted to bypass that process and unfortunately did so right before the August break.

  12. 12

    RobA says

    let me re-phrase that last sentence … “Taylor appeared to bypass that process and unfortunately did so right before the August break.”

  13. 13

    Dan Maceda says

    Why does this inter agency committee have to receive a separate application since the original permits at time of construction included the outdoor seating. This still sounds to me like more bureaucratic BS. Why isn’t this addressed at the time of initial processing and included in whatever public meetings are held before construction is completed?

  14. 14

    anonym says

    Because you don’t get construction permits from DDOT where public space is controlled, you get them from DCRA, but only after you file an FR-500 with OTR and then get a BBL from DCRA. :)