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(A) Purpose. The purpose of the standards in this section regulate the location and operation of formula business establishments in order to maintain the town’s unique village character, the diversity and economic vitality of the community’s commercial districts, and the quality of life of town residents. The town has determined that preserving unique architecture, signage, graphic and other design elements so that the town maintains a distinctive visual appearance and small-scale eclectic ambiance will promote the long-term viability of the community’s businesses districts. The town has also determined that preserving a balanced mix of local, regional, and national-based businesses and small and medium sized businesses will maintain and promote the long-term economic health of visitor-serving businesses and the community as a whole. It is therefore the intention of the town that any permitted formula business establishments shall create a unique visual appearance that reflect and/or complement the distinctive and unique character of the town, and that no establishment shall project a visual appearance that is homogenous with its establishments in other communities.
(1) “Formula business” means a type of business activity, including retail, office and restaurants and food service, which:
(a) Is required to maintain a standardized (substantially the same) array of services and/or merchandise, name, trademark, logo, service mark, symbol, sign, decor, architecture, building or site layout, uniform, color scheme, menus, or similar standardized feature; and
(b) Is substantially the same as 12 or more such establishments, regardless of ownership or location.
(2) Formula businesses shall not include institutional uses such as banks, post offices, churches or government facilities nor shall it include franchise or multi-branch real estate offices, utility services, or gas stations.
(C) Special use permit required. A special use permit shall be required for any formula business establishment in the town.
(1) A formula business establishment may be allowed only with a special use permit;
(2) The expansion of any existing formula business establishment shall require a special use permit or amendment of a special use permit if it already has one; and
(3) A formula business establishment shall fully comply with all applicable regulations of the zoning ordinance, including required commercial design guidelines, unless otherwise herein modified.
(D) Required findings for approval. In addition to all of the findings required by § 156.155, Special Use Permits, all of the following findings must be made prior to the issuance of a special use permit for a formula business establishment:
(1) The formula business establishment will be compatible with existing surrounding uses, and has been designed and will be operated in a non-obtrusive manner to preserve the community’s distinctive character and ambiance;
(2) The formula business establishment will not result in an over-concentration of formula business establishments in its immediate vicinity or the town as a whole;
(3) The formula business establishment will promote diversity and variety to assure a balanced mix of commercial uses available to serve both resident and visitor populations;
(4) The formula business establishment will contribute to a diverse and appropriate blend of businesses in the community and preserve the sea coast town ambience reflective of the history and people of the community;
(5) The formula business establishment will be mutually beneficial to and would enhance the economic health of surrounding uses in the district;
(6) The formula business establishment will contribute to an appropriate balance of business sizes in the community;
(7) The proposed use, together with its design and improvement, is consistent with the unique character of the town, and would preserve the distinctive visual appearance and shopping and dining experience of the town for its residents and visitors; and
(8) The proposed intensity of uses on the site is appropriate given the uses permitted on the site and on adjoining sites including, but not limited to the following:
(a) Size not to exceed 3,000 square feet of gross floor area and must be in a building that is shared with at least 1 other business that is not a formula business of any type.
(b) Street-facing frontage of any individual formula business shall not exceed 50 linear feet.
(Ord. 07-04, passed 2-7-2007; Am. Ord. 09-05, passed 5-6-2009; Am. Ord. 09-07, passed 8-5-2009; Am. Ord. 17-04, passed 6-7-2017; Am. Ord. 21-01, passed 6-2-2021)