Having determined that “preserving a balanced mix of local, regional, and national-based businesses and small and medium sized businesses will maintain and promote the long-term economic health of … the community,” the city of Sausalito treats both formula restaurants and retail stores as “conditional uses” that require a special permit to open or expand. For a proposed formula business to qualify for a permit, the city must determine that it “will promote diversity and variety to assure a balanced mix of commercial uses” and “will not result in an over-concentration of formula retail establishments in its immediate vicinity or the City as a whole.”
FULL TEXT OF SAUSALITO’S FORMULA RETAIL ORDINANCE
10.44.240 Formula Retail
A. Purpose. The purpose of the standards in this Section regulate the location and operation of formula retail establishments in order to maintain the City’s unique village character, the diversity and economic vitality of the community’s commercial districts, and the quality of life of Sausalito residents. The City has determined that preserving unique architecture, signage, graphic and other design elements so that the City maintains a distinctive visual appearance and small-scale eclectic ambiance will promote the long-term viability of the community’s businesses districts. The City has also determined that preserving a balanced mix of local, regional, and national-based businesses and small and medium sized businesses will maintain and promote the long-term economic health of visitor-serving businesses and the community as a whole. It is therefore the intention of the City that an over-concentration of formula retail businesses not be allowed, that all permitted formula retail establishments shall create a unique visual appearance that reflect and/or complement the distinctive and unique historical character of Sausalito, and that no such establishment shall project a visual appearance that is homogenous with its establishments in other communities.
B. Applicability. “Formula Retail” means a type of retail sales activity or retail sales establishment, including food service, which is required to maintain any of the following: standardized (“formula”) array of services and/or merchandise, trademark, logo, service mark, symbol, sign, decor, architecture, layout, uniform, or similar standardized feature.
C. Conditional Use Permit Required. A Conditional Use Permit shall be required for any Formula Retail establishment in the City.
1.A Formula Retail Establishment may be allowed only in the Central Commercial, Shopping Center and Neighborhood Commercial District and only with a Conditional Use Permit;
2. The expansion of any existing Formula Retail establishment shall require a Conditional Use Permit if the establishment does not already have a Conditional Use Permit.
3. The cumulative expansion of a permitted Formula Retail establishment by 500 or more square feet of floor area shall require a Conditional Use Permit amendment; and
4. A Formula Retail establishment shall fully comply with all applicable regulations of this Code including Design Review.
D. Required Findings for Approval. In addition to all of the findings required by Section 10.60.070, all of the following findings must be made prior to the issuance of a Conditional Use Permit for a Formula Retail establishment:
1.The Formula Retail establishment will be compatible with existing surrounding uses, and has been designed and will be operated in a non-obtrusive manner to preserve the community’s distinctive character and ambiance;
2. The Formula Retail establishment will not result in an over-concentration of formula retail establishments in its immediate vicinity or the City as a whole;
3.The Formula Retail establishment will promote diversity and variety to assure a balanced mix of commercial uses available to serve both resident and visitor populations;
4. The Formula Retail establishment will contribute to an appropriate balance of local, regional or national-based businesses in the community;
5.The Formula Retail establishment will be mutually beneficial to and would enhance the economic health of surrounding uses in the district;
6.The Formula Retail establishment will contribute to an appropriate balance of small, medium and large-sized businesses in the community, and
7. The proposed use, together with its design and improvement, is consistent with the unique historic character of Sausalito, and would preserve the distinctive visual appearance and shopping experience of Sausalito for its residents and visitors.