With little discussion, the Hollywood Commission unanimously voted Wednesday to limit the number of convenience stores that can open up in the city.
“I am always concerned with over regulating businesses, but in this case it seems called for,” said Commissioner Peter Hernandez, who said there are just too many.
Last month, the commission gave preliminary approval to a new zoning rule that means convenience stores need to be 2,500 feet from each other – from property line to property line. It also strengthens design standards by requiring new stores to have entrances facing the main street, clear windows and no products outside to sell.
The regulations leave about 11 percent of the city open for new stores, said Andria Wingett, the assistant director of planning and development services,.
At the time, the commission asked for a better sense of how many convenience stores were located within the city.
According to the most recent staff report, the city has about 118 convenience stores, which includes 43 stores with gas, 67 without gas and 8 specialty markets.
The majority of the stores are on busy street including Dixie Highway, State Road 7 and Hollywood Boulevard.
If the national average is applied, the city has about 75 percent more stores than it should.
“I think the commission recognized that something had to be done,” said Wingett. “Research revealed that we had a ton of them.”
The law, which is affective immediately, only applies to new stores, but the city plans on stepping up code enforcement on already existing stores.
In other business, the city commission agreed to spend $3.8 million on a water and sewer project along State Road 7/ 441.
The Florida Department of Transportation is working on a major project to expand the main thoroughfare to six lanes and add a raised median.
FDOT is allowing the city to piggyback on its plans so that the infrastructure for water and sewer can be fixed while the roads are already torn up.
“You could never do this type of underground work for $3.8 million,” said Bober. “I think this is going to be a major catalyst for economic development along 441.”
The project, which is being paid for through the water and sewer fund, is expected to begin in early 2014 and take about three years.