Store Size Cap – Skaneateles, NY

After three consecutive six-month building moratoria in response to a proposal to construct a 150,000 square feet shopping center, this small town of 7,500 people adopted a comprehensive town plan which included a zoning restriction limiting retail stores to no more than 45,000 square feet and shopping center sites to no more than 15 acres."We try very hard here to maintain the idea of small shops," said Town Attorney James Murphy. "If someone like a Walgreens comes in, they’ll put the little hardware guy out of business and significantly change the character of Skaneateles."

"1994 Shopping Center Development Criteria Amendment of the Town of Skaneateles"

Be it enacted by the Town Board of the Town of Skaneateles as follows:

§ 148-26(M). Shopping Centers

(4)Development criteria. Review of proposed plans for a shopping center shall include but is not limited to the criteria set forth in this section. A recommendation to the Town Board will be made on the basis of the applicant’s response to such review criteria. Since each application for a shopping center is considered to be unique, development criteria may be modified by the Town Planning Board when it considers that circumstances warrant such modifications. The rationale for such modifications shall be included in the recommendation to the Town Board.

(a) Area of site. The site on which a shopping center is to be located shall be no smaller than five (5)acres and no larger than fifteen (15) acres, excluding off-site landscaping.

(b) Area of center. The size of a shopping center shall be no less than fifteen thousand (15,000) square feet of gross leasable area (GLA) and no larger than forty five thousand (45,000) square feet of GLA.

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Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its Independent Business Initiative, which produces research and designs policy to counter concentrated corporate power and strengthen local economies.