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Berkeley Councilmembers Move to Block New Drugstores

From the Berkeley City Council Agenda
Monday April 18, 2011 - 01:31:00 PM

From:Office of the Mayor
For: Berkeley City Council CONSENT CALENDAR, April 26, 2011 meeting
TO: Members of the City Council
FROM: Mayor Tom Bates,Council Members Laurie Capitelli and Susan Wengraf
SUBJECT: Restrict Location of Drug Stores
Request the Planning Commission draft a Zoning Ordinance amendment that limits location of new or expanded drugstores to a minimum of 1000 feet of an existing drugstore, and return to Council with proposed language as soon as possible. 


Drugstores serve an important purpose by offering pharmaceutical products and general merchandise to our community. Unfortunately an important part of their product mix is the sale of alcoholic beverages, leading to a proliferation of off sale alcohol permit applications. 

There has also been a trend for competing drugstores to locate in very close proximity to each other offering redundant services and products in small localized areas. This trend ignores other neighborhoods in the city which could benefit from the services. 

Concentrating such uses contributes to a lack of commercial diversity and does not serve the needs of the greater community. 

General Plan Policy ED-3 (e) of the Economic Development chapter states, “Develop and implement planning and zoning mechanisms that promote community-serving commercial diversity and that limit development of undesirable chain stores, formula businesses, and big-box developments without limiting the ability of local businesses grow and expand and, when needed, to establish additional outlets in various parts [of] the city.” 

To implement this policy, we request the Planning Commission consider a zoning amendment to restrict the location or relocation of any drugstore use to a minimum of 1000 feet from an existing similar use. We further request the Planning Commission return to City Council with the proposed zoning amendment as soon as possible.