Rumors of a citizens lawsuit are beginning to circulate in New Orleans less than a month after the city council approved a 200,000 square foot suburban-style Wal-Mart supercenter. The 17-acre development will be situated along Tchoupitoulas Street in the Lower Garden District, a historic neighborhood wedged between a bend in the Mississippi River and downtown.
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In mid-May, the city council of Arcata, California voted 4-to-1 to enact a citywide cap on the number formula restaurants. The measure must pass a second reading on June 5. It will become law 30 days later.
The ordinance defines a formula restaurant as one that shares the same design, menu, trademark, and other characteristics with twelve or more other establishments. The ordinance bars a formula restaurant from locating within the city unless it is replacing an existing formula restaurant at the same location.
Six weeks after an advisory referendum won broad support from residents, the Ocean Beach, California, planning board voted 8-to-4 in early May to recommend that the city council adopt an ordinance banning all formula restaurants and retail businesses.
Ocean Beach is a neighborhood of San Diego with a population of about 15,000. Each of the city’s neighborhoods has its own master plan and elected planning board.
San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown vetoed an ordinance to require greater scrutiny of big box development. The measure passed the Board of Supervisors on a 7-to-4 vote in March. Eight votes are needed to override a mayoral veto.
The citywide ordinance would have required retail development projects larger than 50,000 square feet to undergo an impact review and obtain a conditional use permit before proceeding.
The drive for increased property tax revenue, and in some cases sales tax revenue, can lead local governments to make land use decisions that conflict with other planning and economic development goals. A community might reject much needed affordable housing in favor of expensive homes, for example, or forego office buildings with high-paying jobs in favor of big box retail stores with low-wage jobs, in anticipation of generating more tax revenue with a comparatively smaller burden on public services. Continue reading
In January, Canada’s university and college bookstores filed a complaint with federal competition officials over attempts by Indigo, the country’s largest book chain, to assume control of campus bookstores. Continue reading
A new Salt Lake City map offers residents and visitors a colorful and handy reference for finding more than 100 unique, locally owned businesses.
The full color, fold-up map was created by the Salt Lake Vest Pocket Business Coalition, an alliance of 200 independent businesses. One side shows the city’s streets, with illustrations of major landmarks and buildings housing local businesses.
Voters in five California cities—Agoura Hills, Mountain View, Reedley, Calexico, and East Palo Alto—went to the polls Tuesday to consider measures on big box development.
AGOURA HILLS: In Agoura Hills, a town of 20,000 north of Los Angeles, voters banned retail stores larger than 60,000 square feet. The measure bars the city from allowing any exceptions to the ordinance; variances can only be granted by voters.
Less than a month after announcing it would replace locally roasted coffee with Starbucks at its Alaska stores, the Safeway supermarket chain is backing down.
A barrage of protest from angry residents and a strongly worded letter from Governor Tony Knowles forced the retailer to reconsider its decision to eliminate two Anchorage roasters in favor of Starbucks at its in-store coffee bars.
In late January, after more than two hours of mostly favorable public testimony, the Board of Commissioners in Hood River County, Oregon voted unanimously to bar new retail stores over 50,000 square feet. The new ordinance also establishes a design review process for new retail buildings between 25,000 and 50,000 square feet.
The ordinance applies to land that lies outside the Hood River town limits, but is still within the community’s urban growth boundary.