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Thread: Separation standards for like/similar uses

  1. #1
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    Separation standards for like/similar uses

    Any experience with ordinances that prohibit like or similar businesses within certain distance of each other in downtowns i.e. nail salons, hair salons, etc?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    I have had experience with certain board members wanting such. Very thin constitutional grounds. You would need detailed evidence of why they should be separated.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    Our Planning Commission is under orders from the City Council to hold a hearing on a group home seperation ordinance. The idea this time, apparently based on an untested ordinance from Tulsa, is to make them conditional use permits, with instructions that if there are no other group homes within the radius, then the permit shall be granted if all other conditions are met.

    City council has everyone from our agency to their own attourney saying that this is a bad idea, but elections are coming up next year, and there are a lot of voters out there that want to see this ordinance happen.
    Maintaining enthusiasm in the face of crushing apathy.

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    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
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    I've heard about this regarding bank branches, but I've never seen ordinances in place that control them. This article describes changes proposed for 125th Street
    in NYC:

    Zoning restricts bank branches on 125th street/

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    I've seen this in more suburban settings for gas stations where they become a conditional use and one of the requirements is they cannot be within 1000 ft of another gas station. Hope that helps.
    @GigCityPlanner

  6. #6
    Cyburbian MazerRackham's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    I have had experience with certain board members wanting such. Very thin constitutional grounds. You would need detailed evidence of why they should be separated.
    I'd have to agree. I'd steer clear. I think if you have to pursue distance requirements, your best bet would be a "secondary impacts" approach...just as in regulation of sexually oriented businesses. That being said, I've never heard of any studies on the negative secondary impacts of nail salons. You might be on the verge of groundbreaking research.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I can see the legitimacy of restricting certain uses that can have deleterious impacts on their surroundings, such as adult businesses. The argument against uses like nail salons or gas stations would be weaker. It seems to favor one business over another, restricting competition, without a clear public purpose. You could also get into issues with semantics. Is a hair salon that also does nails the same thing as a nail salon, or is the mix of services substantially different? How about the cosmetics counter at the department store, where they may also do nails?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    What is the evil they are trying to address? What is the desired end? Is this a legitimate governmental purpose? How does the proposal achieve the desired end? Is there a narrower approach that would do the same thing?

    You're getting into equal protection areas that get scrutinized by courts. If it is a veiled attempt to keep "those people" out, it will not stand up in court.

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