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Chain Store Aesthetics on High Street
On September 1, 2021, the Moorpark City Council adopted Interim Urgency Ordinance No. 492 to impose a temporary, 45-day moratorium on new formula-based retail businesses (now referred to as Chain Stores) on High Street. On October 6, 2021, the City Council adopted an ordinance extending the moratorium to August 31, 2022. During the moratorium, the City will not issue zoning permits, building permits, land use entitlements, or business registration permits for any activity within the City of Moorpark.
City Staff used the additional time for public outreach to ensure that Staff's recommendation aligns with the community's needs and desires.
To ensure the community's feedback on the adoption of a Chain Store Ordinance is accurately recorded and heard, the City conducted public outreach through various channels:
- Workshop / One-on-One discussion hosted at the Cactus Patch Restaurant (December 9, 2021)
- Online survey available in English and Spanish (December 13-27, 2021)
- City's social media accounts (December 13, 2021)
- City of Moorpark Website (December 2021)
- Direct mailers to properties located in Downtown (December 2021)
- M-Powered Newsletter (December 8 and December 15, 2021)
- Moorpark Acorn Article (December 17, 2021)
- Business visits (December 2021 & April 2022)
For a complete summary of the City's public outreach efforts and insights gained, please view the Public Outreach Summary Report, published in January 2022.
The primary insight from the City's public outreach efforts indicated the community's desire to maintain the current look and feel of High Street's unique small-town character. This feedback, along with others, was incorporated into an Ordinance, which after being modified and approved by the Planning Commission, was presented and adopted by the Moorpark City Council on July 6, 2022. Outlined below are key elements of the adopted ordinance, based on the public feedback the City received.
What Constitutes a Chain Store?
"Chain Store” means any type of retail sales activity and/or retail service activity conducted within a retail establishment which, along with 10 or more existing operational retail establishments in the world, maintains two or more of the following features:
- standardized array of merchandise or menu;
- standardized color scheme;
- standardized decor;
- standardized facade;
- standardized layout;
- standardized sign, servicemark, or trademark; or,
- uniform apparel."
What if a Chain Store Wants to Open on High Street?
All Chain Stores are prohibited in the Old Town Commercial (C-OT) Zone unless approved with a conditional use permit, subject to the findings contained in this Section. Any Chain Store approved with a conditional use permit shall create a unique visual appearance that reflects and complements the distinctive historical character of High Street, and that no such establishment shall project a visual appearance that is homogeneous with its establishments in other communities.
The Adopted Ordinance, adopted on July 6, 2022, incorporates feedback received from the community from the survey, in-person workshop, and Planning Commission Public Hearing (May 24, 2022).
- September 1, 2021: Consider Adoption of an Urgency Ordinance Establishing a Moratorium on New Formula Based Retail Businesses on High Street
- October 6, 2021: Consider Interim Urgency Ordinance to Extend the Existing Moratorium on New Formula-Based Retail Businesses on High Street for an Additional 10 Months and 15 Days
- April 26, 2022: Planning Commission Meeting
- May 24, 2022: Planning Commission Meeting
- July 6, 2022: City Council Meeting
Adam Pisarkiewicz, AICP
Contract Associate Planner