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How big does a box have to be before it's "Big"

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
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I have been asked to make "big box" stores a conditional use. I'm trying to figure out what level this should kick in. 12,000 sq ft has been suggested, what do you think?

We currently have no conditional use enabling language, anybody have a simple conditional use section?
 

BKM

Cyburbian
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6,464
Points
29
Fort Collins, Colorado

I have seen 60,000 square feet as a common dividing line. Check with Fort Collins, Colorado.

The City of Davis, I have read, tried to limit the size of supermarkets to 40,000 square feet or so to encourage a larger number of smaller neighborhood shopping centers. The effort, I understand, has failed. :(
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
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2,550
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24
I have seen codes where a CU is required for over 20,000 sq feet and others that are lower. I would say the lower you get it, the better. 12,000 sounds like a good size to start requiring CU approval.

The City where I work is re-zoning a huge chunk of our business zoning so that anything that would be permitted is a CU...there are no straight forward permitted uses.
 
Last edited:

nerudite

Cyburbian
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6,544
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29
Re: Fort Collins, Colorado

BKM said:
I have seen 60,000 square feet as a common dividing line. Check with Fort Collins, Colorado.

The City of Davis, I have read, tried to limit the size of supermarkets to 40,000 square feet or so to encourage a larger number of smaller neighborhood shopping centers. The effort, I understand, has failed. :(
How has it failed? I actually think that their effort has worked really well. And it applies only to those areas outside of downtown. Because they wanted retail department stores in the downtown, no big boxes, and smaller, neighbourhood scale grocery stores. It's a pain in the butt to implement (mostly because they put *way too much detail* in the regulations) . But overall, I think it actually achieved what they wanted. But this was a total prohibition... not just kicking the store up to the conditional use level of discretion.

So, I guess the question for NHPlanner is do you want to do a conditional use permit for every grocery store, because most grocery stores are 35,000 s.f. and above now. If you want to catch anything and everything then go low... otherwise, I think that 50,000 to 60,000 starts putting stuff into big box categories. I guess it depends on the scale of your community and the adverse affects that you are trying to address...
 

giff57

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I'll let P&Z decide what level to go with I needed some examples of what others use. Thanks
 

BKM

Cyburbian
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6,464
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29
Davis

Nerudite: I don't really follow Davis THAT closely, so maybe I'm wrong.

I actually agree to a certain extent with the philosophy behind it. The town where I live, Vacaville, is still suffering five years later from a glut of smaller supermarkets shutting down-killing the surrounding commercial centers. The market trend seems to be towards larger and larger centers. I wonder when the WalMart Supercenter will arrive in Solano County? (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse).

All that I remember is that one of the smaller neighborhood supermarkets shut down this year (I believe it was an Albertsons), Safeway has built a huge Marketplace in South Davis (although, being in a residential neighborhood, it still serves that neighborhood need), and I read that Albertsons was planning to pull out of Davis a couple of years ago because of the restrictions, which I understand have been somewhat relaxed.
 

NHPlanner

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Re: Re: Fort Collins, Colorado

nerudite said:


So, I guess the question for NHPlanner is ..
A question for me?? :)

Since my name was dropped, here we consider anything over 25,000 square feet to be a "large retail establishment" and subject to supplimental architectural design guidelines. In one of our overlay zones, we do limit the size in the zoning, to a 25,000 square foot footprint (if parking is in side/rear and access is shared). This is a new overlay (in fact we just made a few cosmentic changes to it to bump up the square footage limits to be consistent with our site plan regs, among other things), and we've yet to see any development within it.

Links for those interested:

Our Performance Overlay District (as it will be adopted by the Council) is at http://londonderry.web-sites.com/images/nophpod121102.pdf

and our site plan regs (with the design guidelines in section 3.12, page 22) are at: http://londonderry.web-sites.com/images/siteregs2002a.pdf
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
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6,544
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29
BKM:

I haven't been back to Davis in over a year, and I have yet to see that Safeway in South Davis (all of my friends live north of I-80)... Albertson's was threatening for years, and it wasn't only the restriction in floor area, but parking, bike parking, signage... the Albertson's in Davis is in a bad location with terrible visability. The have terrible parking lot lighting and other facilities, so many customers chose not to go there anymore (I lived four blocks away and would drive most of the time to a better market).

Davis's codes are difficult to read and even worse to implement... but they work because the politicians support them and so do the community. A lot of companies have made threats that they won't locate in Davis... and that's the point, most of those places the community doesn't "want" in their back yard. That's what Vacaville and Woodland is for.. ;)
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
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10,624
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I've seen 50k and 60k used in codes.

I think anything over 20k merits a check in the system.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
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6,544
Points
29
Re: Re: Re: Fort Collins, Colorado

NHPlanner said:


A question for me?? :)

Since my name was dropped, here we consider anything over 25,000 square feet to be a "large retail establishment" and subject to supplimental architectural design guidelines.
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Hmmmmm... I think I had a brain spasm or something... for some reason I thought this was your thread NH! But I think your answer was awesome... because I've seen your codes before and I think your regulations work for a small town.

So do you think 25,000 works pretty well for the extra design standards, etc? Maybe that's a nice balance (somewhere between true big box by popular definition and what would fit into a smaller town) that can also be used in Giff's case. I think it sounds reasonable, and would not create a nightmare for Giff/staff/Commissions for every expansion to a retail building over 10,000 s.f.
 

NHPlanner

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Brain Spasm?? Forgivable....

nerudite said:


Hmmmmm... I think I had a brain spasm or something... for some reason I thought this was your thread NH! But I think your answer was awesome... because I've seen your codes before and I think your regulations work for a small town.

So do you think 25,000 works pretty well for the extra design standards, etc? Maybe that's a nice balance (somewhere between true big box by popular definition and what would fit into a smaller town) that can also be used in Giff's case. I think it sounds reasonable, and would not create a nightmare for Giff/staff/Commissions for every expansion to a retail building over 10,000 s.f.
The 25,000 for increased design standards works very well, and is primarily based on Fort Collins and some more local examples. We have a Heritage Commission that does a great job working with architects to get buildings to meet the design guidelines. They're a mix of requirements and recommendations, so they're both strict and flexible at the same time.

In terms of the limit in our new overlay district, time will tell. The desire of the community is to limit big-box expansion in that part of town, and felt that the footprint size, in conjunction with conditional use permitting and performance standards/incentives would allow for the type of development the community desires. It was a bit ugly at some of the public hearings when the developers came out (and the sign association...which hates our sign size restrictions in the overlay). I was fortunate enough to be on my honeymoon during the longest and ugliest of the hearings. :)
 

OhioPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
304
Points
11
I would say it depends on what you think of as a big box.

Pharmacies such as Walgreen's, CVS, Eckerd are 10-12,000 square feet

This small would capture a lot of other retailers that you wouldn't consider big box

Grocery stores are in the 40,000 to 60,000 square foot range

Super-Walmarts are 100,000 plus

I've seen some ordinances that call for 80,000 as a big box. These are trying to specifically target retailers like Target, Wal-Mart etc.
 

donk

Cyburbian
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6,970
Points
29
I would suggest 25 000 square feet also. In our area it seems that most of the grocery store expansions to the new "big" format are from 20 000 feet up to about 50 000 square feet.
 

solarstar

Cyburbian
Messages
207
Points
9
We also use 25,000 as a limit. That catches the true big boxes, as well as some strip malls and oversized grocery stores. But the Walgreens, etc. can still do their typical cookie cutter stuff. We're growing fast, but so far it has worked pretty well. We based a lot of our ordinance on Ft. Collins.
 
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