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Commission approves formula retail draft ordinance

By Staff | Aug 17, 2017

The Planning Commission unanimously approved a draft ordinance regarding formula retail last week after City Council directed the commission to amend the Land Development Code in April.

The Planning Commission discussed the topic of formula retail at their meetings through July 11, when they voted to have a draft ordinance prepared.

Planning Director Jim Jordan said they came up with proposed language to clarify the definition of formula retail, which includes “the term formula retail means a type of retail sales activity, or retail sales establishment, with three, or more store locations.”

“I think it makes it clear that the third store is the formula store. If you had two locations and wanted to open your third store on Sanibel you would not be a formula retail store under this definition,” Jordan said.

Change also took place to the square footage regarding the review trigger of formula retail, an increase from 50,000 to 60,000 square feet. “A conditional use application for a new formula retail store that results in the total commercial floor area used by formula retail stores in all of the city’s commercial districts to exceed 60,000 square feet,” stated the draft ordinance.

Jordan said he recommended the Planning Commission adopts the proposed draft ordinance, so it could go before the City Council at their Sept. 11 meeting.

“I think we were very thorough with the help of staff and I think we came up with a really good product,” Commissioner Holly Smith said.

Chair Phillip Marks said they spent a great deal of time to make sure the ordinance is the best they can do at this time.

After the draft ordinance passed unanimously, the Planning Commission spoke about the city’s website.

Jordan said the executive staff met last week and are forming a task force with finance, planning and IT departments to work on updating the city’s webpage to establish a portal for new businesses.

“It will give you links to the forms, regulations and requirements. Right now we just started and we will keep the commission appraised as we move along,” Jordan said. “As we move into that migration and information from our current system to our new system we will be developing this program for this portal for new businesses. It should be informative for anyone new establishing a business.”

He said they are looking at other city’s webpages to use some of their good ideas, so they do not have to reinvent the wheel.