business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Austin Business Journal reports that the Texas capital is considering an ordinance that would effectively ban big box store development in a section of the city, limiting retailers to those that are 50,000 sq. ft. or smaller.

However, there is opposition to the proposed ordinance from developers and residents who believe that shopping choices should not be legislated against, and that big box stores bring in significant tax revenue.

Companies that have already invested in property approved for supercenter-style stores probably would be grandfathered and not affected by new zoning rules.

Wal-Mart reportedly plans to build four or five new supercenters in Austin during the next 12 to 18 months.
KC's View:
These kinds of community debates are taking place with greater frequency all over the country, and we think that is healthy. Cities and towns that accept rampant superstore development, and all that it means for the future of their downtown shopping districts, at least ought to do so with eyes wide open and all the possible consequences considered.