Ordinance Curbs "Forumula" Retail Stores


In December 2000 the city of Coronado, Cal. adopted an ordinance restricting the proliferation of formula retail businesses. The ordinance notes that the unregulated addition of such businesses would frustrate the city's goal of maintaining a unique and diverse retail base, and limit opportunities for small, local retailers.

Formula retail businesses are defined as those "required by contractual or other arrangement to maintain any of the following: standardized ... array of services and/or merchandise, trademark, logo, service mark, symbol, decor, architecture, layout, uniform, or similar standardized feature."

The ordinance requires that formula retail businesses obtain a special use permit from the city. Approval hinges on demonstrating that the store will contribute to an appropriate balance of local, regional, or national-based businesses and appropriate balance of small, medium, and large-sized businesses. Formula businesses must be compatible with surrounding uses and occupy no more than 50 linear feet of street frontage.

Coronado, an island community of 20,000 in southern California, already limits the number of formula restaurants allowed in the city to ten.

Coronado's ordinance, as well as other examples of formula business restrictions, can be found at the New Rules website.