California court voids approvals for two big-box projects

Date: 15 Dec 2004 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In a ruling that could have broad implications, a California appeals court this week nullified zoning approvals given to two big-box shopping centers by the city of Bakersfield. The court held that the environmental impact reports (EIRs) prepared for the projects were insufficient and did not adequately address the potential for urban decay and associated ecological effects that could be caused by extensive new retail development. The ruling orders the city to complete new impact studies and public hearings, and reconsider the projects. … Read More

New Jersey Considers Regional Impact Studies for Big-Box Stores

Date: 8 Dec 2004 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Lawmakers in New Jersey have proposed legislation that would require communities to weigh the regional economic impact of proposed big-box stores before granting approval. As drafted, the law would apply to stores over 130,000 square feet that sell at least 25,000 items with a minimum of ten percent of their revenue in nontaxable groceries. The measure would therefore cover Wal-Mart, Target, and Kmart supercenters, but would not affect big-box stores that do not sell groceries, such as Home Depot and Staples. … Read More

Big-Box Ballot Initiatives: Wins & Losses

Date: 9 Nov 2004 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Voters in Hudson, Ohio—a community of 23,000 people thirty miles southeast of Cleveland—overwhelmingly rejected a ballot initiative that would have opened the way for big-box stores and allowed developers to skirt the town’s development review process. "We are ecstatic," said Liz Murphy, owner of the Learned Owl bookstore and member of Smart Growth Hudson, a citizens group that formed to defeat the initiative.… Read More

Independent Businesses Produce Bigger Economic Benefits, Study Concludes

Date: 21 Oct 2004 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Chicago’s locally owned businesses generate 70 percent more local economic impact per square foot than chain stores, according to a new study. The study, conducted by the firm Civic Economics, analyzed ten locally owned restaurants, retail stores, and service providers in the Andersonville neighborhood on Chicago’s north side and compared them with ten national chains competing in the same categories. … Read More

Austin Study Says City Pays Price for Big-Boxes

Date: 8 Oct 2004 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A coalition of organizations in Austin, Texas, released a report this week that concludes that big-box retailers impose significant costs on the community. It recommends that the city scrutinize big-box projects more thoroughly and adopt a long-range plan to strengthen locally owned businesses. The report reviews and refutes several of the findings of another big-box study commissioned by the city and released in June.… Read More

NYC’s Newsstands Fight Corporate Takeover

Date: 4 Oct 2004 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Newsstand owners in New York City have filed a legal challenge to a new law that would transfer ownership of the city’s 300 independent newsstands to a single corporation. Under the law, which was backed by the mayor and endorsed by all but three city councilors, the eclectic newsstands will be replaced by identical kiosks under central ownership. Five companies, including JCDecaux, which manages "street furniture" in 3,500 cities worldwide, are bidding for the contract. … Read More

Supreme Court May Limit Land Seizure for Private Development

Date: 30 Sep 2004 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case early next year that could set new limits on the ability of cities to condemn and take property for private redevelopment projects. There have been many cases in recent years where local governments have seized homes and small businesses to make way for chain retail development. In downtown Port Chester, New York, for example, bulldozers are currently leveling a 27-acre site that once housed numerous small businesses.… Read More

Flagstaff Enacts Big-Box Limits

Date: 29 Sep 2004 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

On a 5-2 vote, the City Council in Flagstaff, Arizona, a city of 53,000 people about two hours north of Phoenix, approved an ordinance controlling the size, location, and community impacts of big-box stores. The action is "important to the long-term vitality of Flagstaff," said Becky Daggett, director of Friends of Flagstaff’s Future, a citizens group that worked for the ordinance’s passage.… Read More

National Survey to Assess Spread of “Clone Towns” Across Britain

Date: 16 Sep 2004 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In a new report titled "Clone Town Britain," the London-based New Economics Foundation warns that the country’s town centers are rapidly being overrun by chain stores. "Retail spaces once filled with independent butchers, newsagents, tobacconists, pubs, book shops, greengrocers and family-owned general stores are becoming filled with supermarket retailers, fast-food chains, and global fashion outlets," the report says.… Read More

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