Florida Community Places Limit on Number of C-stores

MIAMI -- Convenience store retailers interested in opening a store in Hollywood, Fla., may need to put the brakes on their plans. On Jan. 16, the city commission voted unanimously in favor of limiting the number of c-stores that can open within the city, reported the Miami Herald.

"I am always concerned with over regulating businesses, but in this case it seems called for," stated Commissioner Peter Hernandez.

Last month, a new zoning regulation requiring c-stores to be 2,500 feet from each other, starting at the property line, received preliminary approval from the commission. It also requires new stores to have clear windows, entrances that face the main street and no products to sell outside. The commission also requested more information on how many c-stores already operate in the city.

The most recent staff report shows Hollywood has approximately 118 c-stores, including 43 with gas stations, 67 without and eight specialty markets. This puts the number of stores at 75 percent higher than it should be if the national average is applied, according to the Herald.

The new regulations leave approximately 11 percent of the city open for new stores.

"I think the commission recognized that something had to be done," said Andria Wingett, assistant director of planning and development services. "Research revealed that we had a ton of them."

The new law is effective immediately and applies only to new c-stores, but the commission plans to intensify code enforcement on existing stores as well.

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