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Restrictions on Banks

mendelman

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I have to do a little research about how to restrict banks from being to prevalent in communities.

I don't know if it is the same in your area, but here in Metro Chicago there are alot of bank branches opening. There are concerns that this type of non-retail use will erode tax revenues and creates sites which may not be adaptable, etc.

I need links to info about this phemonenon(sp?) and/or ordinances which have attempted to limit the development of banks.


Thanks
 
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Suburb Repairman

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I haven't heard of anything around here that restricts development of bank branches, but then again, I am in Texas! I've heard of some cities with ordinances to make "big boxes" adaptable for reuse as office space, etc with building design.

The one thing I can think of that might discourage development of branch banks is limiting the number of drive-thru lanes. That way, you're not singling out banks. You might be able to justify reducing the number of drive-thru lanes through impervious cover requirements in regard to flood control, road access and traffic impact in regard for safety, or air quality improvement since cars idling significantly contribute to air pollution.

I hope that helps!
 

ludes98

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I don't know that I would call banks unadaptable. I have seen many former banks turned into retail and restaurant uses.
 

Dan

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I don't know about banning banks, but there are ordinancves out there that require a certain percentage of building frontage along a pedestrian-oriented street to be devoted to uses that would promote "street animation" or pedestrian traffic. There are also restrictions on drive-through facilities that you might want to look at.

Again, "the code I wrote," blah blah blah. ATMs and drive-up only banking facilities cannot be a primary or sole use of a parcel. I've seen large parcels with huge parking lots, surrounding a tiny ATM enclosure in the middle. What a waste of real estate!
 

gkmo62u

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Seems to me a lot of banks might equate to some level of prosperity?

In any event it seems like quite a waste of time to figure out a way to manipulate the market in this manner.

Since when are banks bad land use? Is it just because some perceived loss of retail sales tax revenue? certainly the banks pay property taxes?
 

mendelman

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gkmo62u said:
Is it just because some perceived loss of retail sales tax revenue? certainly the banks pay property taxes?
Yes, but the concern is with more and more commercial land being occupied by a use that doesn't create any sales revenue.


(PS; this is reactive planning at its best)
 

Wulf9

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The first issue with banks in a downtown pedestrian environment is that they interrupd pedestrian flow. Bankers want their buildings to look like a fortress. Pedestrians usually want to see something interesting as they amble down the sidewalk. At ambling speed, that means something new every 50 or so feet. Retail windows are interesting. Banks are about as interesting as parking garages. A corner with four banks is a pedestrian barrier.

On the other hand, insta tellers are great pedestrian magnets (people like to extract money from exterior building walls) and many banks will attract pedestrian business. Bank customers can also be retail customers -- enhancing the sales revenues in an area.

So, balance it out and put banks in locations where people have to walk past some retail space in order to get to the bank.
 

Cardinal

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Banks can play a critical role in promoting a healthy retail environment. For instance, I usually encourage bank offices in downtowns because they generate a lot of traffic (just like the post office or city hall). In Wisconsin we do not concern ourselves with sales tax, since the local government gets none. There may be legitimate design concerns, but I think Dan made the point that you can require it to be pedestrian-friendly. Still want to ban them? Suburban Repairman's solution is one I'd look at. Maybe make all drive through establishments a conditional use, then evaluate them on a case by case basis.
 

Suburb Repairman

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I agree with everyone here. I've never really thought of banks as a negative. It's kinda weird: they discourage pedestrians with their design by breaking up the walking environment, but they also attract pedestrians with walk-up ATMs. Rather than completely blow them off, you might look at architectural standards for design or landscaping to give pedestrians something to look at.

It sounds like your city is more concerned about economic benefits of a bank based on your comment about how they produce no sales tax revenue. You might think about the other types of businesses that tend to locate near banks. In my experience, retail establishments tend to do better when located near a bank, though that seems to be less of an issue with increased credit/debit card acceptance. Banks also frequently locate on strip center pad sites around here, blocking out at least a little of the massive sea of asphalt in front of your big-box anchor.

I'd be careful about trying to ban banks. Having banks around might help encourage lower income service sector workers to save money instead of living paycheck to paycheck (I know some can't help it), and therefore reduce poverty. Wow, I guess I'm feeling idealist/optimistic today!
 

Rem

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Very strange to suggest limiting bank branches. With deregulation of the banking sector in Australia there has been a massive reduction on the number of bank branches and hence a reduction in services. The bank's strategy is to force people on to the internet, phone banking and autobanking where ytransaction overheads are lower.

Most communities would welcome a new bank branch with open arms - then spend the next ten years complaining about fees and poor service.
 

Tranplanner

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Canada's experience seems very similar to Australia's - bank branches are closing down left, right and center around here. The older ones make great reusable space for boutique retail, coffee shops, etc.
 

Jeff

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mendelman said:
Yes, but the concern is with more and more commercial land being occupied by a use that doesn't create any sales revenue.


(PS; this is reactive planning at its best)
Don't they have to pay a sales tax on the surcharges they put on their ATMs?

Just throwing that out there for discussion, I have no idea if they do this anywhere.
 

donk

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Is it banks they are concerned about or is it the other "financial institutions"(ie cheque cashing, pay day loan places )?
 

mendelman

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Cardinal said:
.....I think Dan made the point that you can require it to be pedestrian-friendly.....Suburban Repairman's solution is one I'd look at. Maybe make all drive through establishments a conditional use, then evaluate them on a case by case basis.
The conditional/special use designation sounds good. Thanks

Let me give some context:
I work in a typical post-WWII auto-dependent suburb. There is no downtown, no pedestrian areas. Everything is auto-dependent (you could walk, if you wanted to spend half the day going to two stores).

Personally, I think this is a bit too reactive of an effort, but alas I work for the village and must do their bidding.

I am only gathering info right now, so I could steer the research in the direction I see fit.

Thanks for the help everyone.
 

mendelman

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Need more opinions

Can the throbbing brain come up with pros and cons concerning regs. limiting the development of banks?

To start:
It seems that everyone thinks banks are generally a sign of prospertiy, which is a good thing.

anything else?
 

Cardinal

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Positives:

They do not have a typical franchise design and they are usually willing to use quality materials with good design.

They provide jobs that typically pay better than retail, and certainly offer more opportunity for advancement.

Banks often contribute significantly to the community (CRA).


Negatives:

They have drive-throughs.

Mr. Potter is a greedy old man.

They can generate a lot of traffic (but so can many other uses).
 
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