Formula Business Restriction – Calistoga, CA

Date: 9 Dec 2008 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In 1996, the town of Calistoga, California, enacted an ordinance that prohibits formula restaurants and visitor accommodations, and requires that other types of formula businesses undergo review and apply for a special use permit from the Planning Commission.

The city council concluded that regulating formula businesses was necessary to preserve the unique character of Calistoga’s downtown commercial district, including”regulating the aspect of businesses. . . that is reflective of the history and people of the community.”

A formula business is defined as business which is required by contractual or other arrangement to maintain any of the following: standardized services, decor, uniforms, architecture, signs or other similar features. The definition includes retail sales and services, visitor accommodations, and wholesale and industrial operations.

Developments approved for a special use permit must be consistent with the town’s Comprehensive Plan and with the”historic, rural, small town atmosphere of Calistoga.”


ORDINANCE NO. 519

ANORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CALISTOGA, COUNTY OF NAPA, STATE OF CALIFORNIA, AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 506 BY AMENDING SECTIONS OF TITLE 17 OF THE CALISTOGA MUNICIPAL CODE DEFINING AND REGULATING FORMULA BUSINESSES INCLUDING FOOD ESTABLISHHMENTS, AND ADOPTING DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS APPROPRIATE TO MAINTAIN THE HISTORIC, RURAL CHARACTER WITHIN CALISTOGA.

The City Council of the City of Calistoga does hereby ordain as follows:

SECTION ONE:

TheCity Council of the City of Calistoga at a regular meeting considered as one of its items of business, noticed in accordance with Government Code Section 65090, this ordinance to be adopted in accordance with Code Section 65850; and

WHEREAS, the City Council adopted an Urgency Ordinance (Ordinance #507) on the 7th day of March, 1995, and further amended that ordinance on the 4th day of April, 1995,(Ordinance 508), further amended that Ordinance on the 18th day of April, 1995 (Ordinance #509) and subsequently extended those ordinances which placed a moratorium on the consideration of all applications for non-residential development within the city until March 8, 1996 in accordance with Section 65858 of the Government Code; and

WHEREAS,the City Council has now amended the City’s General Plan Policy and Program Document including policies pertaining to the quality of life desired in Calistoga by maintaining a friendly, slow-paced, rural, small town atmosphere and further detailing polices aimed at reinforcement of the downtown as the commercial and cultural center of the community ; and

WHEREAS, the City Council finds that these policies are necessary to preserve the unique and historic character of Calistoga’s downtown commercial district, including regulating the aspect of businesses, services and merchandise that is reflective of the history and people of the community and which has become a cornerstone of the visitor industry which is a key component in the City’s economy; and

WHEREAS, the City Council further finds that certain formula business establishments, e.g. formula food businesses do not reflect the unique character of the community and the desired aesthetic ambience of the commercial areas of the city in that they offer rushed, ready made meals from formula menus identical to similarly decorated units located in other communities and thus cannot contribute to the established uniqueness which the Council finds necessary to maintain a viable visitor industry in Calistoga; and

WHEREAS,the City Council further finds that the scale and design of improvements of existing development is an important factor in the overall aesthetic character of the community and that refinements in the City’s Zoning Ordinance are necessary to insure that new development is in scale and in harmony with Calistoga; and

WHEREAS,the City Council has considered the importance of the pace of change in the non-residential sector of the community in order to maintain the character of Calistoga as well as the ongoing vitality and viability of the existing historic downtown commercial district.

SECTION TWO:

Thatthe Planning Commission has considered a proposed Negative Declaration prepared in conjunction with the regulations contained herein, together with comments received during the public review process. The Planning Commission found on the basis of the initial study and the comments received that there is no substantial evidence that the regulations will have a significant effect on the environment and, therefore, the Planning Commission approved the Negative Declaration.

SECTION THREE:

That the following amendments to Title 17 (Zoning Ordinance) are hereby adopted:

1. Add to the Definitions Section 17.04, 17.04.132 Business, Formula to read as follows:

“Formula Business” shall mean a business which is required by contractual or other arrangement to maintain any of the following : standardized services, decor, uniforms, architecture, signs or other similar features. This shall include but not be limited to retail sales and service, visitor accommodations, wholesale and industrial operations.

2. Add to the Definitions Section 17.04, Section 17.04.616 Restaurant, Formula to read as follows:

“Formula Restaurant” shall mean a restaurant devoted to the preparation and offering of food and beverage for sale to the public for consumption either on or off the premises and which is required by contractual or other arrangement to offer any of the following: standardized menus, ingredients, food preparation, decor, uniforms, architecture, or similar standardized features.

3. Modify Section 17.22.020 Uses Allowed to read as follows:

B. Uses requiring use permits

12. Formula business operations of uses otherwise allowed in Section 17.22.020-A but not including formula restaurants or formula visitor accommodations.
13. Structures, or multiple structures in a single development in excess of 20,000 square feet of gross floor area.
14. Parking lots, or multiple parking lots in a single development in excess of 50 parking spaces.

D. Prohibited Uses

1. Uses not specified in subsection A through C of this section are prohibited.
2. Formula restaurants.
3. Formula visitor accommodations.

4. Modify Section 17.22.040 Lot Area Requirements to read as follows:

F. In the case of any development involving visitor accommodations, a sufficient percentage of the net lot area shall be retained in landscaped open space to reflect the nature and character of the surrounding neighborhood. Walks, pools, patios and other similar areas may be considered as part of the open space requirement. Parking areas shall not be counted unless special paving, landscape or other design features are incorporated.

5. Add Section 17.31.035 to 17.31 VA Visitor Accommodations to read as follows:

17.31.035 Allowable Building Bulk

A. In the case of any development involving visitor accommodations, a sufficient percentage of the net lot area shall be retained In landscaped open space to reflect the nature and character of the surrounding neighborhood. Walks, pools, patios and other similar areas may be considered as part of the open space requirement. Parking areas shall not be counted unless special paving, landscape or other design features are incorporated.

6. Modify Section 17.36.090 Design Requirements to read as follows:

L. Parking lots shall be surfaced with asphaltic concrete, concrete, building stone, armour coating or equivalent materials approved by the Design Review Board with recommendations from Staff. The Design Review Board with recommendatlons from Staff may approve parking areas improved to alternate standards including alternative paving surfaces, curbing and striping techniques when a rural, overall design program is being considered for the main land use, Handicapped parking areas shall maintain standards as required by State law.

7. Modify Section 17.40.070 to read as follows:

17.4O.070 Findings

A.1. That the proposed development, together with any provisions for its design and improvement, is consistent with the General Plan, any applicable specific plan and other applicable provisions of this Code including the finding that the use as proposed is consistent with the historic, rural, small town atmosphere of Calistoga.

SECTION FOUR:

Ifany section, or portion of this ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid and or unconstitutional by a court or competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance.

SECTION FIVE:

Thisordinance shall take effect thirty (30) days after its passage. Before expiration of fifteen (15) days after its passage by the City Council, the City Clerk shall cause to be published a summary of this ordinance in a newspaper of general circulation within the City of Calistoga.

ADOPTED AND APPROVED this 6th day of February, 1996, by the following vote:

AYES: Councilmembers Bryne, Dunsford, Oliver, Fundy and Mayor Oyarzo.
NOES: None
ABSENT /ABSTAIN: None

Patt Osborne, City Clerk
LaVerne Oyarzo, Mayor

 

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Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and directs its Independent Business Initiative, which partners with a wide range of allies to implement policies that counter concentrated power and strengthen local economies.