In April 2005, the Port Townsend City Council voted 6-1 to enact a tempor ary ordinance limiting formula retail stores and restaurants to a single commercial zone along the main road leading into Port Townsend and barring them from all other areas of town, including the downtown. Within that zone, formula businesses are not allowed to exceed 3,000 square feet nor occupy more than 50 linear feet of street frontage. Formula restaurants are subject to additional scrutiny and require a conditional use permit in order to open.
The measure was prompted by a citizens group that formed to fight plans by Hollywood Video to open an outlet next door to an independent video store. It cites the town’s comprehensive plan, which calls for maintaining the small town character of Port Townsend and developing local businesses that provide living wage jobs, as the basis for restricting the proliferation of formula businesses.
The interim ordinance remained in effect for six months while the city studied the issue and considered policy options. On Oct. 10, 2005, the Port Townsend City Council voted 4-2 to make the ordinance permanent.
Although the law came too late to affect Hollywood Video’s plans to open a store in town, the citizens group Stop Hollywood Video gathered more than 4,000 signatures pledging a boycott of the chain.
Ordinance No. 2896
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF PORT TOWNSEND AMENDING THE PORT TOWNSEND MUNICIPAL CODE ADDING CHAPTER 17.05, DEFINING AND REGULATING FORMULA RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS TO TITLE 17, ZONING
WHEREAS,Port Townsend is a Victorian Seaport that harbors a National Historic District and a wealth of superb Victorian era Homes recognized on the National Historic Register; and
WHEREAS, Port Townsend is a community with a very special environment, both natural and man-made and the qualities of both must be respected so that the uniqueness of Port Townsend can flourish without inappropriate changes; and
WHEREAS, Port Townsend is a vital and active City that retains a small town atmosphere and a strong sense of community; and
WHEREAS,Port Townsend is both a destination resort town and a residential village, and the creation of a desirable living, working, and business environment that is responsive to residents will automatically provide destination of interest to visitors; and
WHEREAS,as stated in the Comprehensive Plan at p.147: “[E]conomic development in Port Townsend should balance economic vitality with stability, environmental protection, and preservation of our small town atmosphere,” and “ The responsibility of local government is to assure that economic development activities are carried out in a manner that is consistent with defined community and environmental values;” and
WHEREAS, one of the major emphases of the Comprehensive Plan is to address the “jobs/housing imbalance” in Port Townsend; and
WHEREAS,the City’s Comprehensive Development Plan at p.14 “ . . . contains an economic development strategy that is designed to encourage businesses which provide ‘family wage’ jobs: Jobs that pay a wage or salary which allows an individual or family to purchase a home, feed and clothe a family, pay for medical care, take a vacation, save for retirement, and send the kids to college.” p.174.]; and
WHEREAS,Goal 4 of the Diversified Manufacturing & Small Business component of the Economic Development Element of the Comprehensive Plan at p. 150 calls for the City: “To support current commercial and manufacturing enterprises, and encourage the formation of small businesses and relocation to Port Townsend of small scale locally managed businesses as a vital part of Port Townsend’s economy” by “[e]ncourag[ing] the formation and expansion of cottage industries and light manufacturing”and “ the development of a diversity of local businesses which serve the needs of residents and visitors;” and
WHEREAS,Goal 5 of the Community Retail component of the Economic Development Element of the Comprehensive Plan at p. 151 calls for the City to “To enhance and attract small and medium sized retail businesses which serve the community’s needs for goods and services;” and
WHEREAS,the addition of formula retail businesses in the commercial areas, if not monitored and regulated could serve to frustrate the Comprehensive Development Plan goal of a diverse retail base with a unique retailing personality comprised of a mix of businesses ranging from small to medium to large and from local to regional to national; and
WHEREAS,the Historic Commercial District is a special and unique asset within the City, which could be impacted by the presence of formula establishments that are out of harmony with the Historic District and which do not contribute to the City’s small town atmosphere; and
WHEREAS,in light of the foregoing considerations, the City Council has determined that the public welfare of the City’s residential, retail, business and tourist based community, as articulated by the principles upon which the Comprehensive Development Plan is premised, will be best served and advanced by adopting interim regulations monitoring, regulating and restricting the establishment of formula retail stores to the C-II commercial zone; and
WHEREAS, the City needs time to consider properly and carefully the potential effects of formula stores on the City’s comprehensive plan and zoning code, and other development regulations; and
WHEREAS, the City Council finds it is appropriate to preserve the status quo and to prevent the vesting of any new applications for development or land use approvals that are or may be inconsistent with the City’s comprehensive plan, pending review of City codes to make sure that regulations are in place that are consistent with the comprehensive plan; and
WHEREAS,RCW 35A.63.220 relating to Code cities like Port Townsend and 36.70A.390, a section of the Growth Management Act (Ch. 36.70), authorize the City to adopt interim regulations to preserve the status quo while new plans or regulations are considered and prepared; and
WHEREAS, there are no new or pending applications that would be affected by this ordinance,
NOW, THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of Port Townsend ordains as follows:
SECTION1. Chapter 17, Zoning, of the Port Townsend Municipal Code is hereby amended to add a new Section 17.05 , Formula Retail and Formula Restaurants, and shall read as follows:
Section 17.05 , Formula Retail and Formula Restaurants
Theseregulations apply in addition to the regulations set forth elsewhere in Title 17. Where there is a conflict in regulations in this Chapter and other Chapters of Title 17, the provisions of this Chapter shall apply.
A. “Formula Retail” means a type of retail sales activity or retail sales establishment, including restaurant which, along with ten or more other retail sales establishments, maintains two or more of the following features: a standardized array of merchandise, a standardized façade, a standardized décor and color scheme, a uniform apparel, standardized signage, a trademark or service mark.
(1) Standardized array of merchandise shall be defined as 50% or more of in-stock merchandise from a single distributor bearing uniform markings.
(2) Trademark shall be defined as a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination or words, phrases, symbols or designs that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods from one party from those of others.
(3) Servicemark shall be defined as word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination or words, phrases, symbols or designs that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service from one party from those of others.
(4) Décor shall be defined as the style of interior finishings, which may include but is not limited to, style of furniture, wallcoverings or permanent fixtures.
(5) Color Scheme shall be defined as selection of colors used throughout, such as on the furnishings, permanent fixtures, and wallcoverings, or as used on the façade.
(6) Façade shall be defined as the face or front of a building, including awnings, looking onto a street or an open space.
(7) Uniform Apparel shall be defined as standardized items of clothing including but not limited to standardized aprons, pants, shirts, smocks or dresses, hat, and pins (other than name tags) as well as standardized colors of clothing.
(8) Signage shall be defined as business sign pursuant to Section 602.3 of the Planning Code.
(9) “Standardized” does not mean identical, but means “substantially the same.”
B. Full service restaurant
“Full service restaurant” means any establishment wherein food is regularly prepared for and to customers primarily for consumption on the premises and whose design or operation includes three or more of the following characteristics:
(1) The establishment is not specifically designed to accommodate high customer volume.
(2) Facilities, such as tables, seats and benches, for on-premises consumption of food are provided and are sufficient for the volume of food sold and customers services.
(3) Customers predominately order and receive food while seated in tables on the premises
(4) Food is paid for after consumption on site.
(5) Food is not typically packaged for transport off-site.
2.The purpose of the standards in the Formula Retail chapter is to regulate the location and operation of formula retail establishments in order to maintain the City’s unique Victorian Seaport and surrounding rural character, the diversity and vitality of the community’s commercial districts, and the quality of life of Port Townsend residents.
3. The following regulations shall apply to all formula retail establishments and shall be used by all city departments and commissions in reviewing an application or amendment for a business license, a building permit application, a conditional use permit, an application for occupancy or a design review concerning all formula retail establishments
A. A formula retail establishment may be located only in the C-II General Commercial District.
B. A formula retail establishment (except for grocery stores, banks, saving and loans, full service restaurants and theaters) shall not have a street level frontage of greater than 50 linear feet on any street or have its retail space occupy more than two stories.
C. A formula retail establishment may not exceed 3,000 square feet.
4.Formula restaurants: the number, location and operation of formula restaurants shall be regulated in order to maintain the City’s unique character, the vitality of the C-II commercial district, and the quality of life of Port Townsend residents.
5.Formula restaurants shall fully comply with regulations pertaining to formula retail establishments as well as the additional regulations that follow.
6. The regulations in this section shall be used by all city departments and advisory bodies in reviewing an application or amendment for a business license, a building permit application, a conditional use permit, an application for occupancy or a design review concerning a formula restaurant.
A. A formula restaurant may only be established on a site after obtaining a conditional use permit from the city for the operation of that use on said site. Similarly, a formula restaurant may only relocate or physically expand in a manner to increase its seating capacity after obtaining a conditional use permit.
B. Change of ownership shall not, by itself, require obtaining a conditional use permit.
C. An existing formula restaurant may only be physically expanded in a manner to increase seating capacity:
D. Establishment or Relocation. A formula restaurant may only be established or relocated:
1. On a site that is not located on a street corner except such a restaurant may be located on a street corner where the immediate prior use was a formula restaurant
2. Where it would not result in two or more formula retail establishments of any type operating on a parcel, lot or tract on which all or a portion of a building is located (i.e., two or more formula retail business entities requiring separate business licenses, or displaying in a manner visible from public property separate business trademarks, logos, service marks or other mutually identifying names or symbols, for the daily or weekly conducting of business on the same site).
3. Any formula restaurant may not exceed 3000 square feet and must be in a building that is shared with at least one other business that is not a formula retail establishment of any type. No drive-through facilities are allowed.
4. Establishing or relocating the formula restaurant will not increase the intensity of use on the site to a level that will adversely impact land uses in the area, pedestrian or motor vehicle traffic or the public welfare.
7.In the event an applicant for any business license, a building permit application, a conditional use permit, an application for occupancy ora design review concerning a formula retail establishment believes that, due to extraordinary circumstances and unique attributes of the site, it is impracticable or impossible to comply with the provisions of this ordinance, the applicant may apply for a variance. The variance application shall be processed according to the procedures for Type III land use decisions established in Chapter 20.01 PTMC, Land Development Administrative Procedures.
SECTION 2. Exemption. This ordinance shall not apply to vested permit applications.
SECTION3. Public Hearing on Ordinance. Pursuant to RCW 36.70A.390, the City County shall hold a public hearing on this ordinance within 60 days of the passage of this ordinance. At or immediately after the public hearing, the City Council shall adopt findings of fact on the subject of these interim regulations either justifying their continued effect, or cancel the regulations, or take other appropriate action
SECTION4. Severability. If any sentence, clause or phrase of this ordinance should be held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect the validity or constitutionality of any other section, sentence, clause or phrase or work of this ordinance.
SECTION5. Effective Date. This Ordinance shall take effect immediately after passage if adopted by a majority plus one of the City Council. Otherwise this ordinance shall take effect and be in force five days after the date of its publication in the manner provided by law. Publication of this ordinance shall be by summary thereof consisting of the title.
Adopted by the City Council of the City of Port Townsend, Washington, at a regular meeting thereof, held this _____ day of ____________, 2005.
Catharine Robinson, Mayor
Attest: Pamela Kolacy, CMC, City Clerk
Approved as to Form: John P. Watts, City Attorney