A small rotisserie chicken booth in Dolna has been operating continuously for 30 years. Four years after the renovation, which the owners would carry out, as recommended by officials, the premises fit into the space of the Royal Route, the booth is again in danger. This time, the owners are alarming that the Municipal Roads Authority does not want to agree to their operation after June 2024.
The intersection of Dolna and Sobieskiego streets. A rotisserie chicken booth has been standing here for 30 years. “This is a small family business that is unfortunately in danger,” says the well-known youtuber and tiktoker Książulo in a video published on his channel.
As he reminds, Rotisserie Chicken in Dolna Street recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. “And they just got a letter from ZDM that they will not extend the contract with them from June next year” – he alarms.
The problems started in 2018
In August 2018, road builders issued a negative decision regarding the pavilion at Dolna Street. As described by “Gazeta Stołeczna” at that time, the Office of Architecture and Spatial Planning had doubts at first whether the tin pavilion fit into the landscape. The inhabitants, however, stood up for the place and this is how the campaign “No to the liquidation of chickens” was created. The officials then buckled under the pressure. After the intervention of residents and social activists, they changed their minds, but gave the owners an ultimatum. The booth had to undergo a metamorphosis. As Wojciech Wagner, deputy director of the architectural office, told “Stołeczna”, officials “continued to claim that the building was not valuable in terms of urban planning”, but “they took into account its functional function and the owners’ willingness to change”.
Among the guidelines, it was recommended to refresh the color of the tinplate and its interior. The owners gladly agreed to these conditions. The business could go on. Now black clouds are gathering over the premises again.
A petition in defense of a rotisserie chicken booth
In defense of the premises, a petition was created, signed by over 6,300 people by Wednesday evening.
The petition reads: “Four years after our high-profile campaign ‘No to eliminate the chicken’, dialogue and renovation of the kiosk according to the guidelines of the Office of Architecture and Spatial Planning – we are forced to prove once again that we deserve to occupy several square meters at the intersection of Dolna and Sobieskiego Streets.” .
“The decision seems to be related to the construction of the tram line, despite the fact that the Warsaw Green Board and Tramwaje Warszawskie have not raised any objections to our location!” – the owners note.
In their opinion, ZDM repeats “old arguments from four years ago”, which they hoped to “refute last time, saying that the city wants to organize the space of the Royal Route”. “We cannot find out what this arrangement is supposed to look like, we only learn that our liquidation is to be an arrangement” – they regret.
The kiosk is their most important source of income
As they emphasize, they are a family business. “For the couple – Mrs. Małgorzata (57) and Mr. Tadeusz (79), who opened this kiosk 30 years ago, after Mr. Tadeusz’s retirement, this kiosk is the most important source of income. Our customers say with one voice that we are a cult place, which has grown into the urban fabric of Mokotów. They have been coming to us since they were children, they were brought to us by their grandmothers, grandfathers, parents. They grew up with us. And we still have the strength and energy to run this pavilion. So, who cares?” – we read further in the petition.
The owners have already prepared an appeal against the decision. As they emphasize, they request “to change the negative decision of the Municipal Roads Authority and enable the continuation of the current business activity by extending the lease contract for a period of several years”.
ZDM: the decision is always issued for a specific period
What about ZDM? As his spokesman, Mikołaj Pieńkos, explains in a reply sent to our editorial office, the procedure is that “the owner submits an application for the occupation of the right-of-way and ZDM issues an administrative decision allowing or refusing consent to such an occupation”. The decision involves paying a fee according to the rates set out in the resolution of the city council. As the spokesman notes, “according to the Act, such a permit may be issued only in particularly justified cases and only if there are no contraindications.”
“Such a decision is always issued for a specific period paid in advance. Usually it is from a few months to 1-2 years. The owner is therefore always aware that the activity in this mode is temporary and must take into account the fact that it may turn out to be necessary to leave the right-of-way, e.g. in the event of its renovation” – he continues.
The Ombudsman also describes that in this particular case, the owner applied for a permit for another period and obtained such a permit – by the end of June 2024, i.e. for a year.
They’re looking for a “normal place”
“So I am surprised by these questions suggesting that some contract has been terminated or that the site suddenly needs to be vacated. None of this is true. What is true is that the owner was informed that he should ultimately look for normal commercial premises instead of a makeshift pavilion that is inconsistent with the provisions of the development plan and, by definition, it functions in this place only temporarily, Pieńkos replies.
He also estimates that “12 months is a very long time to make such efforts.” “There is no question of any ‘sudden decision’ here. The development plan was adopted by the Warsaw Council already in 2021 and it is clearly stated that this facility should not be located in this place. that we provided such information when issuing the permit for the next 12 months.
“By the way, tolls for occupying the right-of-way are calculated on the basis of rates adopted by councillors, and their amount may not exceed certain statutory limits. Nor may it be differentiated depending on the attractiveness of the location, as is the case with rents – the same you pay per meter in the very center and on the outskirts. This leads to bizarre situations in which a person running a business in such a booth pays a fee incomparably lower than the fees paid by entrepreneurs renting normal premises next door. Is this fair to these entrepreneurs?” Pienkos asks.
Main photo source: Artur Węgrzynowicz / tvnwarszawa.pl