Napa Local, a new grassroots group dedicated to preserving and enhancing the unique qualities of downtown—with a big focus on locally owned independent businesses—has created a petition that calls for “No Starbucks on First and Main in Downtown Napa."
The group formed following a report in the , in an article titled “Main and First building gets new owner; Starbucks considers space”. According to the article, Starbucks Corporation has shown interest in the current location, a business that sits directly across the street from the .
Napa Local has not only begun an organizing effort to prevent Starbucks from moving next door to our town's local coffee shop, it has also begun a wider effort to promote a culturally unique downtown.
Napa Local seeks to preserve locally owned businesses and prevent "formula businesses" such as Starbucks from setting up shop without local scrutiny. The group has created four demands that hope to create conscious business and development practices:
A) We do not want Starbucks to open on the corner of First and Main Streets.
B) We do not want a Starbucks to open anywhere in downtown Napa.
C) Have the City of Napa adopt an ordinance to regulate formula businesses to conform to the existing Downtown Napa Specific Plan.
D) Have the City of Napa implement a moratorium on any new formula businesses until such an ordinance is adopted.
The demands and tactics are nothing new. They are part of an increasing trend by cities and towns across the nation that want to preserve their historical and distinctive identities.
The New Rules Project, a program of the Institute for Self-Reliance, provides research, updated news, Legal Reviews and lists a number of towns and cities in California that “have adopted ordinances that prohibit formula businesses, cap their total number, or require that they meet certain conditions to open.”
One of those places is the City of Calistoga, which in 1996 unanimously adopted and approved Ordinance NO. 519, whose capitalized header reads, “DEFINING AND REGULATING FORMULA BUSINESSES INCLUDING FOOD ESTABLISHHMENTS, AND ADOPTING DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS APPROPRIATE TO MAINTAIN THE HISTORIC, RURAL CHARACTER WITHIN CALISTOGA.”
The Napa Local group is working on a website and currently has a Facebook Group Page.
For more information on past and present cases involving formula businesses, you can visit the New Rules Project Formula Businesses Page here.