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Regulation 🙅‍♀️ Negative economic impacts of selected uses in downtown

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,814
Points
57
Not all downtown uses have the same effect on the economic wellbeing of a downtown. Some are founded, some are only perception. We have a situation where we have several uses locating or looking to locate to our downtown that have caused some other business owners to express concern.

I was wondering if anyone has established regulations to prevent concentrations of uses such as Tattoo Parlors, Vape Shops, Pawn Shops, or similar uses within the Downtown Central Business District? We have a situation of long time building owners holding out for the future redevelopment values that are willing to lease to the lowest value uses if they are willing to do a month to month lease. Until then, they don't want to spend any money for improvements to their buildings. Our elected officials are worried that having these uses in our downtown will scare off the businesses that we want (Retail and Restaurant).

Also does anyone know of economic development studies as they pertain to these uses?
 
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mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,422
Points
60
We have a tattoo shop in the southern portion of our historic district/downtown the entire time I've been here and during that time our entire downtown storefront occupancy has been effectively 100% with objectively high rental rates. These high rental rates shoo away the less than stellar operators...of any business/use type.

We had a vape shop open about 3 years ago on the north end of the district and we have had no concerns or issues regarding it.

My position is that it's a matter of management (building and business owners) and the 'quality' of those individuals.

Our tattoo shop is clean and serves a population/market much different than the past perception of such clientele from previous decades.

Our vape shop is basically a well run retail store no different than the any other retail store.

I'd be surprised if there are objective, reliable studies out there for you. Any are likely either going to be very anecdotal and/or heavily biased.

Lastly, be careful about lumping/restricting everyone together just because of one or two outliers.

Good luck.
 
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Messages
3,006
Points
25
Not all downtown uses have the same effect on the economic wellbeing of a downtown. Some are founded, some are only perception. We have a situation where we have several uses locating or looking to locate to our downtown that have caused some other business owners to express concern.

I was wondering if anyone has established regulations to prevent concentrations of uses such as Tattoo Parlors, Vape Shops, Pawn Shops, or similar uses within the Downtown Central Business District? . .
...Our elected officials are worried that having these uses in our downtown will scare off the businesses that we want (Retail and Restaurant).

I guess you'd have concern about this 100-y.o. joint sitting in an upper-middle-class downtown...?

Of course, that's a trick question.:)

I don't know if there's a formal academic case-study about that specific vicinity's economic development. (There really should be!) But almost all the long-time area residents will tell you the same thing.
The upshot- mendelman is on the mark:

My position is that it's a matter of management (building and business owners) and the 'quality' of those individuals.
. . . .
Lastly, be careful about lumping/restricting everyone together just because of one or two outliers.

 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,814
Points
57
We have a tattoo shop in the southern portion of our historic district/downtown the entire time I've been here and during that time our entire downtown storefront occupancy has been effectively 100% with objectively high rental rates. These high rental rates shoo away the less than stellar operators...of any business/use type.

We had a vape shop open about 3 years ago on the north end of the district and we have had no concerns or issues regarding it.

My position is that it's a matter of management (building and business owners) and the 'quality' of those individuals.

Our tattoo shop is clean and serves a population/market much different than the past perception of such clientele from previous decades.

Our vape shop is basically a well run retail store no different than the any other retail store.

I'd be surprised if there are objective, reliable studies out there for you. Any are likely either going to be very anecdotal and/or heavily biased.

Lastly, be careful about lumping/restricting everyone together just because of one or two outliers.

Good luck.
I don't disagree, but part of this has been directed from elected officials. Which is why I was wondering if anyone knew of economic studies because there are times that the results are opposite of the hypothesis and if I can present those too as part of a complete package, it results in a much more informed discussion.
 

bureaucrat#3

Member
Messages
126
Points
8
We had a body modification shop (tattoo) come in about 18 months ago. I let the lady who wanted to do it speak to the Planning Commission about health inspections, her clientele, costs, and operation. I did some research on operations and statistics on who has tattoos and found some stats on likelihood of tattoos by age.

My very old and traditional Planning Commission approved changes after adding some special development standards that included distance restrictions, anti-loitering clause, and few others that were not really an issue but made them feel better.

As far as vape shops go, I would push stronger indoor smoking ordinances and ventilation requirements over zoning. There was a shop that opened the adjoining downtown. I wish I could find the pictures. The shop has large storefront windows, but you could only see the fog/haze and moisture on the inside of the windows. Never heard of any complaints about the business.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
14,177
Points
57
We placed an overlay district around the historic courthouse square (the core of downtown) that deleted some uses from the normal downtown district and added certain building requirements/standards. This was directed by council to do and we received 1 complaint by a person, who didn't own property downtown, but said it would kill it. He was one of the old crowd naysayers.

I won't say this revision revitalized downtown - there are many factors related to that - but it was certainly a piece of the puzzle.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,422
Points
60
We placed an overlay district around the historic courthouse square (the core of downtown) that deleted some uses from the normal downtown district and added certain building requirements/standards. This was directed by council to do and we received 1 complaint by a person, who didn't own property downtown, but said it would kill it. He was one of the old crowd naysayers.

I won't say this revision revitalized downtown - there are many factors related to that - but it was certainly a piece of the puzzle.
That's likely a better solution than a separation requirement.

It's much easier to argue for a broad based prohibition, in terms of compelling government interest, than separation.
 
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