Anna Maria rolls out franchise prohibition, historic preservation ordinances

The ordinance created to place a moratorium on formula business entities enacted in Anna Maria last July has been codified.

City commissioners adopted an ordinance Aug. 24, voting 3-2 to approve a permanent ban on formula retail establishments in the city in order to preserve an “old Florida” feel.

Commissioners Doug Copeland and Brian Seymour voted against the ban.

The ordinance says the purpose of the moratorium is to preserve “a non-commercialized ‘old Florida’ atmosphere where there are virtually no national ‘chain’ type establishments.”

According to the language of the ordinance, formula retail is defined as a business with three or more locations with a similar color scheme, trademark and merchandise.

The Anna Maria-based business Poppo’s Taqueria qualifies as a formula retail business, with three other locations in Manatee County. So does the Donut Experiment, which has expanded from its Anna Maria spot to six locations across the United States.

However, because the businesses originated in Anna Maria and unless the business owners seek more business licenses within the city, they would not be affected by the ordinance.

Anna Maria commissioners enacted an emergency formula retail moratorium last year in response to Holmes Beach’s moratorium, which was enacted as a result of permit applications submitted by chain stores Smoothie King and Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins for storefronts on East Bay Drive.

Anna Maria’s original emergency moratorium was in place for 60 days. Commissioners passed two six-month moratorium extensions in the past year. This ordinance makes the moratorium permanent.

In addition to the formula retail moratorium, commissioners also held a final hearing on an ordinance amending the comprehensive plan.

The ordinance provides for the historic preservation element, amends the coastal and conservation element and adds funding information to the city’s adopted capital improvements program.

The ordinance also sends the city’s comprehensive plan amendments to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity for final review and compliance.

The additions won’t be approved until 31 days after the DEO reviews and approves the amendments.

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