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Starbucks Protest Heads to Council

The Napa Local group prepares to ask the city council today for a "process of local scrutiny" for chain businesses downtown.

Members of Napa Local, the month-old group formed out of concern at rumors a Starbucks might open at a prominent downtown intersection, are taking their fight to the Napa City Council this afternoon and evening.

"We don't want a ban on all future chain stores, like Ben and Jerry's—we want a process of local scrutiny," the group states on a Facebook page named No Downtown Starbucks! Tell City Council to Regulate Corporate Chain Stores.

Members of Napa Local, an outgrowth of the Occupy Napa movement, are concerned that a Starbucks at First and Main streets would hurt the existing coffeeshop at that intersection operated by the Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company.

According to the statement on Facebook:

Napa Local is concerned by the prospect of Starbucks opening on First and Main in Downtown Napa for the following reasons:

1. Starbucks, as a formula business, undermines the unique qualities of Downtown Napa.

2. Starbucks, since it has at least 5 cafes in town, in Downtown Napa would further erode the diversity of culture and commerce in Napa.

3. Starbucks, as a multinational corporation, harms the local economy.

These are our demands:

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 City of Napa adopt an ordinance to regulate Formula Businesses to conform to the existing Downtown Napa Specific Plan.

D) Have city implement a moratorium on any new Formula Businesses until such an ordinance is adopted.

For more about the controversy, see Why I Am Against Starbucks Downtown, a Napa Patch blog post by former Napa County supervisorial candidate Michael Haley that has attracted more than 100 responses since it was published Jan. 12.

Tonight's Napa City Council sessions begin at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. For the complete agenda, please see City Council Agenda, Jan. 17.

For a look at a similar controversy in a neighboring county, see the Sonoma Patch article Chain Store Ban May Keep Williams-Sonoma Out of Sonoma.

Patty Peterson January 17, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Representatives from Napa Local will also be at the 3:30 City Council meeting to read their statement during the public comments time. Please join us if you can to stand in opposition to STARBUCKS opening on the corner of 1st/Main and to ask the Council to take a hard look at allowing formula-based stores coming into Downtown Napa. We are asking for a case-by-case review.

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