City of Somerville
Massachusetts

Agenda Item
195725
Work Completed
Sep 23, 2014 7:00 PM

That the City Solicitor provide this Board’s Committee on Legislative Matters with input on restricting formula businesses in Somerville by requiring specific review and oversight before they may enter central business districts.

Information

Department:City CouncilSponsors:Ward Six Alderman Rebekah L. Gewirtz
Category:OrderPurposes:Order

Official Text

That the City Solicitor provide this Board’s Committee on Legislative Matters with  input on restricting formula businesses in Somerville by requiring specific review and oversight before they may enter central business districts.

 

Meeting History

Oct 24, 2013 7:00 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting
RESULT:APPROVED
Mar 4, 2014 6:30 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting
RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Apr 22, 2014 6:30 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting

Mr. O'Donnell and Mr. Grossfield discussed how other communities have banned formula businesses and they will provide examples of the approaches used and also provide a draft template for the committee to review relating to how other communities handle this subject.

RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Apr 29, 2014 6:30 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting

Mr. Grossfield spoke about applicable case law and how the Commerce Clause impacts this subject. Ald. Gewirtz stated that this is not about banning formula business, but rather about providing another level of scrutiny through the permitting process. There was a discussion about the definition of formula businesses and the acceptable reasons/criteria necessary for moving forward with such an ordinance.

Requests were made for a copy of the Town of Chatham’s legal case to be provided and that copies of similar ordinances used by other municipalities be forwarded to OSPCD’s Planning staff for their review and input.

RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
May 13, 2014 6:30 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting

Mr. Proakis discussed the zoning code, use tables, community concerns, special permit triggering points, the definition of formula business, post review findings and his desire to build a business district draft from the ground up. Ms. Graney spoke about controlling the design and square footage of businesses and the negative impact of formula businesses on neighborhoods and Mr. Grossfield discussed possible legal challenges.

Recommendations were made to circulate the proposed draft to all aldermen and the Chamber of Commerce for their feedback.

RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Sep 16, 2014 6:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting

The Planning Department is working on this and information will be included in the new comprehensive zoning package, due to be submitted this fall.

RESULT:WORK COMPLETED
Sep 23, 2014 7:00 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting
RESULT:WORK COMPLETED