Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter VI-A. Commercial Food Store Development.


Part A. Definitions.

§ 2–1212.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Corner store” means a retail establishment that:

(A) Sells grocery products;

(B) Has less than 5,000 square feet of selling area;

(C) Does not have an off-premises retailer’s license, Class A, established by § 25-112(d)(1); and

(D) Meets the eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, established by the Food Stamp Act of 1964, approved August 31, 1964 (78 Stat. 703; 7 U.S.C. § 2011 et seq.).

(2) “Eligible area” means:

(A) A historically underutilized business zone, as defined by section 3(p)(1) of the Small Business Act, approved July 18, 1958 (72 Stat. 384; 15 U.S.C. § 632(p)(1)); or

(B) Census tracts 103, 33.01, 94, 95.05 95.07, or 95.08.

(3) “Farmers market” means a public market, as defined by § 37-131.01(2), at which farmers and other producers sell fresh produce and healthy foods.

(4) “First source agreement” means the agreement required by § 2-219.03.

(5) “Grocery store” means a retail establishment that:

(A) Has a primary business of selling grocery products;

(B) Has at least 5,000 square feet of selling area that is used for a general line of food and nonfood grocery products; and

(C) Meets the eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, established by the Food Stamp Act of 1964, approved August 31, 1964 (78 Stat. 703; 7 U.S.C. (§ 2011 et seq.).

(6) “Healthy food” means fresh fruit and vegetables and other foods qualifying as healthy pursuant to 21 C.F.R. § 101.65(d)(2).

(7)(A) “Small food retailer” means a small business that is not a grocery store or a corner store and whose primary business is the retail sale of grocery items.

(B) The term “small food retailer” shall not include businesses that have an off-premises retailer’s license, Class A, established by § 25-112(d)(1).

(C) For the purposes of this paragraph, the qualification of an entity or small business shall be established by the Mayor by rule.

(8) “SNAP benefits” means benefits provided by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, established by the Food Stamp Act of 1964, approved August 31, 1964 (78 Stat. 703; 7 U.S.C. § 2011 et seq.).

(9) “WIC benefits” means benefits provided by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, established by section 17 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, approved September 26, 1972 (86 Stat. 729; 42 U.S.C. § 1786).


(Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-353, § 101, 58 DCR 746; Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-204, § 2(a), 63 DCR 15047; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 7112, 64 DCR 7652.)

Applicability

Section 7020 of D.C. Law 22-33 repealed § 4 of D.C. Law 21-204. Therefore the changes made to this section by D.C. Law 21-204 have been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-204: § 4 of D.C. Law 21-204 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(a) of D.C. Law 21-204 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7112 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of § 4 of D.C. Law 21-204, see § 7020 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7112 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of § 4 of D.C. Law 21-204, see § 7020 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).


Part B. Grocery Store Development Program.

§ 2–1212.21. Establishment of a grocery store development program.

(a) The Mayor shall establish a Grocery Store Development Program (“Program”) within the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development to attract grocery stores to, and renovate grocery stores in, eligible areas in the District and to create quality jobs for District residents.

(b) The District of Columbia Housing Authority and the Office of Planning shall, as requested by the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, assist the program by providing technical assistance and other resources. The Washington, D.C. Economic Partnership may assist this program by providing technical assistance and support.

(c) The Program may:

(1) Establish a working group of community development financial institutions, District agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other interested District individuals and organizations to seek federal funding through the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, the new market tax credits program, pursuant to section 45D of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, approved December 21, 2000 (114 Stat. 2763; 26 U.S.C. § 45D), and other programs; and

(2)(A) Provide a combination of any or all of the following to grocery stores in eligible areas:

(i) Grants;

(ii) Loans;

(iii) Federal tax credits;

(iv) Other financial assistance; and

(v) Technical assistance.

(B) The benefits provided by this paragraph shall be awarded to grocery stores in eligible areas on a competitive basis, with priority given to grocery stores in eligible areas that are underserved by retail sales of healthy food.


(Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-353, § 201, 58 DCR 746.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) prohibition of grocery store restrictive covenants, see § 2 of Grocery Store Restrictive Covenant Prohibition Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-415, July 19, 2018, 65 DCR 7685).

For temporary (90 days) prohibition of grocery store restrictive covenants, see § 2 of Grocery Store Restrictive Covenant Prohibition Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-299, Apr. 2, 2018, 65 DCR 3764).

For temporary (90 days) prohibition of grocery store restrictive covenants, see § 2 of Grocery Store Restrictive Covenant Prohibition Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-55, May 17, 2017, 64 DCR 4907).

For temporary (90 days) prohibition of grocery store restrictive covenants, see § 2 of Grocery Store Restrictive Covenant Prohibition Emergency Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-461, July 20, 2016, 63 DCR 9839).

For temporary (90 days) prohibition of a restrictive covenant concerning grocery stores, see § 2 of Grocery Store Restrictive Covenant Prohibition Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-1, Feb. 19, 2015, 62 DCR 2464).

For temporary (90 days) prohibition of a restrictive covenant concerning grocery stores, see § 2 of the Grocery Store Restrictive Covenant Prohibition Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-457, Oct. 23, 2014, 61 DCR 11366, 20 STAT 4362).

For temporary (90 days) prohibition of a restrictive covenant concerning grocery stores, see § 2 of the Grocery Store Restrictive Covenant Prohibition Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-177, Oct. 22, 2015, 62 DCR 13988).

For temporary (90 days) prohibition of a restrictive covenant concerning grocery stores, see § 2 of the Grocery Store Restrictive Covenant Prohibition Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-288, Jan. 27, 2016, 63 DCR 1200).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) a temporary prohibition on grocery store restrictive covenants, see § 2 of Grocery Store Restrictive Covenant Prohibition Temporary Act of 2017 (D.C. Law 22-8, July 28, 2017, 64 DCR 5304).

For temporary (225 days) addition of a new section, see § 2 of Grocery Store Restrictive Covenant Prohibition Temporary Act of 2016 (D.C. Law 21-163, Oct. 13, 2016, 63 DCR 10164).

For temporary (225 days) prohibition of a restrictive covenant concerning grocery stores, see § 2 of the Grocery Store Restrictive Covenant Prohibition Temporary Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-171, March 7, 2015, 61 DCR 12448).

For temporary (225 days) prohibition of a restrictive covenant concerning grocery stores, see § 2 of the Grocery Store Restrictive Covenant Prohibition Temporary Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-54, Jan. 30, 2016, 62 DCR 15595).


§ 2–1212.21a. Limited tax incentive for existing establishment.

Notwithstanding the scope of exemptions provided by § 47-3802(a), a grocery store that is located in census tract 94 on February 18, 2017, shall be eligible for the tax exemption provided pursuant to § 47-3802(a)(1) beginning with the tax year beginning October 1, 2016; provided, that the 10-year real property exemption period shall be deemed to have begun on January 1, 2015.


(Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-353, § 201a; as added Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-204, § 2(b), 63 DCR 15047.)

Applicability

Section 7020 of D.C. Law 22-33 repealed § 4 of D.C. Law 21-204. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 21-204 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-204: § 4 of D.C. Law 21-204 provided that the creation of this section by § 2(b) of D.C. Law 21-204 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) repeal of § 4 of D.C. Law 21-204, see § 7020 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of § 4 of D.C. Law 21-204, see § 7020 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).


§ 2–1212.22. Requirements.

(a) As a condition of participating in the Program, an individual or legal entity operating a grocery store shall:

(1) Accept SNAP benefits;

(2) Apply to accept WIC benefits and accept WIC benefits if eligible;

(3) Enter into a first source agreement; and

(4) Sell fresh produce and healthy foods.

(b) A grocery store shall agree in writing to the conditions set forth in subsection (a) of this section for a period of at least 5 years as a condition of participating in the Program; provided, that this requirement shall not be enforceable if the individual or legal entity ceases grocery store operations.


(Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-353, § 202, 58 DCR 746.)


§ 2–1212.23. Grocery ambassador program.

The Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development shall designate a District employee as the grocery ambassador to assist retailers in building or renovating grocery stores in eligible areas by:

(1) Providing research and data on eligible areas with insufficient grocery access;

(2) Coordinating with all relevant District agencies and public utilities;

(3) Providing assistance in obtaining and expediting regulatory procedures and approvals; and

(4) Providing other assistance as needed.


(Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-353, § 203, 58 DCR 746.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1212.33.


§ 2–1212.24. Other incentives.

(a) The Zoning Commission should adopt regulations that permit bonus density or other appropriate zoning flexibility for projects in eligible areas with grocery stores, consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

(b) When considering applications for special exceptions or planned unit developments, the Zoning Commission and Board of Zoning Adjustment should give favorable weight to projects with grocery stores in eligible areas.

(c) Grocery stores in eligible areas shall be eligible for the Green Building Expedited Construction Documents Review Program established by § 6-1451.06 notwithstanding that they fail to qualify as green buildings under § 6-1451.01(17).


(Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-353, § 204, 58 DCR 746.)


Part C. Healthy Food Retail Program.

§ 2–1212.31. Establishment of a healthy food retail program.

(a) The Mayor shall establish a Healthy Food Retail Program within the Department of Small and Local Business Development to expand access to healthy foods in eligible areas in the District by providing assistance to corner stores, farmers markets, and other small food retailers.

(b) The Department of Health, District Department of the Environment, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Office of Planning, and the University System of the District of Columbia shall, as requested by the Department of Small and Local Business Development, assist this program.

(c)(1) The program may provide a combination of any or all of the following to corner stores, farmers markets, and other small food retailers in eligible areas:

(A) Grants;

(B) Loans;

(C) Federal tax credits;

(D) Equipment;

(E) Other financial assistance; and

(F) Technical assistance.

(2) The benefits provided by this subsection shall be awarded to corner stores, farmers markets, and other small food retailers in eligible areas on a competitive basis, with priority given to projects with the greatest potential impact on expanding access to healthy foods in eligible areas that are underserved by retail sales of healthy food.

(d) Corner stores, farmers markets, and other small food retailers are encouraged to work cooperatively to expand access to healthy foods in eligible areas.

(e) The benefits provided by subsection (c) of this section may be used by corner stores to improve the display areas, exteriors, and interiors of corner stores to expand capacity to sell healthy food.

(f) The Department of Small and Local Business Development may contract with nonprofit organizations in promoting and implementing this program.

(g) The University System of the District of Columbia may provide nutrition education resources to eligible corner stores, farmers markets, and consumers in eligible areas.


(Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-353, § 301, 58 DCR 746.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1212.32.


§ 2–1212.32. Requirements.

(a) Corner stores, farmers markets, and other small food retailers participating in the program established by § 2-1212.31 shall be strongly encouraged to:

(1) Apply to accept SNAP benefits;

(2) Apply to accept WIC benefits; and

(3) Employ District residents.

(b) Resources may be provided under § 2-1212.31 to assist corner stores, farmers markets, and other small food retailers in acquiring the technology necessary to accept SNAP and WIC benefits.

(c) As a condition of participating in the program established by § 2-1212.31, individuals or entities operating corner stores, farmers markets, and other small food retailers shall agree in writing to sell produce or other healthy foods for at least 3 years; provided, that this requirement shall not be enforceable if the individual or entity, or its successor, ceases all of its retail food sales operations.


(Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-353, § 302, 58 DCR 746.)


§ 2–1212.33. Healthy food distribution.

(a) The Department of Small and Local Business Development shall convene a working group to develop a plan for establishing a commercial distribution system for fresh produce and healthy foods to corner stores. Corner stores shall be encouraged to work cooperatively to maximize their buying power.

(b) The working group shall include representatives from:

(1) District agencies;

(2) The grocery ambassador, designated under § 2-1212.23;

(3) Nonprofit organizations;

(4) Urban farmers and community gardeners;

(5) Corner stores and their trade associations; and

(6) Produce wholesalers.

(c) The working group shall issue a report, including recommendations, to the Mayor and the Council.

(d) The Department of Small and Local Business Development may issue grants, on a competitive basis, for the establishment of a commercial distribution system for fresh produce and healthy foods


(Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-353, § 303, 58 DCR 746.)


§ 2–1212.34. Energy efficiency.

The District Department of the Environment shall:

(1) Develop tools and resources for corner stores to reduce their operating costs by becoming more energy efficient; and

(2) Promote energy efficiency programs to corner stores.


(Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-353, § 304, 58 DCR 746.)


Part D. Rules.

§ 2–1212.41. Rules.

The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of this title [§ 2-501 et seq.], may issue rules to implement the provisions of this subchapter.


(Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-353, § 401, 58 DCR 746.)