After through the Sonoma City Council, , and several adjustments a proposed ban on formula stores – also known as big box retail – still has a long way to go before it may be put into effect.
'Throw it out and start over,' advised the Sonoma Planning Commission in a meeting Thursday, according to a report in the Sonoma Index Tribune.
Instead, the commission approved the draft of the ordinance, in a narrow 4-3 vote.
Commissioners disagreed on how to uphold the plan, arguing that all businesses should undergo a formal planning commission review before being granted a conditional use permit. But such a process would require larger staff, according to Planning Director David Goodison.
The current ordinance will prevent restaurants with 250 or more stores from the Plaza, and will regulate formula businesses occupying over 10,000-square-feet of space, and will require formula businesses in the Historic Overlay Zone to obtain a conditional use permit, except in designated shopping areas.
It also defines 'formula business' as a retail, restaurant or service business with 10 or more similar businesses, regardless of ownership.
The City Council will make the final decision on formula store legislation.
Read more about the legislation here.