Maine Gov. John Baldacci last week signed into law a measure requiring developers of retail stores exceeding 75,000 square feet to conduct studies gauging the project’s impact on municipal services, the environment and local businesses. The proposed store can’t be approved if the studies find it is likely to cause a quantifiable, “undue adverse impact” on more than one of those fronts and is expected to have a harmful effect on the community overall.
The Maine legislation is the first state law of its kind in the U.S., but similar measures have been proposed in six other states in the past two years. A bill made it through the California State Legislature last year but was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
…”I am unable to support this bill that effectively sends a message to retailers and others that California is closed for business,” Gov. Schwarzenegger said in announcing the veto.
There is similiar legislation under consideration in New Jersey.
Are chain stores out of control? We know that in the city we grew up in most of the neighboring farm land has been paved and developed with every imaginable chain store, all in the last few years. The downtown is in pretty sad shape, comparatively. People shop where they want to shop, what can you do?