Alexandria’s City Council on Saturday approved requests by Yates Holdings and 7-Eleven that will bring new and upgraded development to the corner of Braddock Road and Mount Vernon Avenue.
Yates Holdings will open a dry cleaners and a light auto repair business in the block covering 515 Mount Vernon Ave. and 401 and 405 E. Braddock Road.
7-Eleven was granted its request to continue operating its store in that block, which has been in existence for more than 50 years at that site. However, at least one citizen expressed concern with store alcohol sales.
As part of the planning process, Yates also sought approval to create an ornamental wall that would encroach in the public right of way.
That request was granted, although resident Amy Slack testified during the City Council meeting’s public comment period to express concern that citizens had not had time to view the design.
“We know it will be an asset to the cleaner, but this is an encroachment upon the public right of way,” she said. “It’s a courtesy to be involved in knowing what that plan is. I understand Yates is concerned we’ll tell him to plant petunias. I don’t care what he plants. … As a birthday gift I ask you to consider this.”
Council Vice Mayor Kerry Donley moved to approve with motion for the encroachment with the understanding that the applicant would go over the plans with leaders of the Del Ray and Rosemont neighborhoods.
Citizen Katy Cannady applauded the Yates corner development. “We are getting neighborhood-serving retail with a fairly insignificant increase in density,” she said.
Leslie Zupan, president of the West Old Town Citizens Association, asked that 7-Eleven put some sort of identification on alcohol receptacles to identify where they are sold.
However, City Council generally agreed that a store should not be subjected to specific regulation but that the issue should be looked at “across the city” with a more “holistic approach,” according to Mayor Bill Euille.