Smaller discount stores will be discussed at the Palm Coast board meeting.
CTE DE PALM – The city council last week unanimously approved an ordinance amending the unified planning code to define and regulate the location of small-box discount stores.
Palm Coast officials say the prevalence of discount stores could exclude small supermarkets that carry fresh produce and discourage them from relocating to the city. Officials define a big box store as a retail store 16,000 square feet or less that offers a variety of products.
A 90-day moratorium on new big box stores was approved on March 3, followed by a 130-day extension. On March 10, the council discussed regulations for all discount stores. The community development department examined the distance between different operations and the compatibility of stores when they are adjacent to residential areas.
Currently, stores are generally not clustered in any area, and their operating distance ranges from 6 to 4.5 miles from each other.
âThe town planning council recommended that we do not allow them in our neighborhood for commercial purposes,â Ray Tyner, deputy city development director, said at the August 4 council meeting. “The planning board recommends that although they are permitted in commercial two and commercial three, if they are within 500 feet of a residential property, a special exception is required.”
A public hearing would be required in such a case, Tyner said.
Mayor Milissa Holland stressed in the August 4 meeting that this does not mean that small stores cannot exist in Palm Coast; it’s just a matter of identifying the locations that would suit them best throughout the city corridor.