Introduced by Senator Ayer of Addison District, Senator Illuzzi of Essex-Orleans District, Senator Dunne of Windsor District, Senator Flanagan of Chittenden District, Senator Gander of Windham District, Senator Giard of Addison District, Senator Lyons of Chittenden District, Senator MacDonald of Orange District, Senator Miller of Chittenden District, Senator Starr of Essex-Orleans District, Senator Welch of Windsor District and Senator White of Windham District
Subject: Municipal planning; big box retail store cap
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to create a statewide cap of 50,000 square feet on big box retail uses, a cap that is to stay in effect until a community adopts comparable bylaws on this subject. The bill proposes to allow municipalities the option of raising the cap to 75,000 square feet, but only in designated development districts, designated village centers, and designated new town center development districts. The bill also proposes to allow municipalities to set lower caps on the number of square feet allowed for retail uses. It also proposes explicitly to allow an appropriate municipal panel to require an applicant for a big box retail use to provide a community impact study of the projected costs and benefits to the community resulting from the project.
AN ACT RELATING TO ESTABLISHING A CAP ON THE NUMBER OF SQUARE FEET PERMISSIBLE IN A BIG BOX STORE
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 24 V.S.A. § 4412 is amended to read:
§ 4412. REQUIRED PROVISIONS AND PROHIBITED EFFECTS
Notwithstanding any existing bylaw, the following land development provisions shall apply in every municipality:
(1) Equal treatment of housing and required provisions for affordable housing.
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(8) Square footage cap on “big box” retail uses.
(A) Definition. As used in this subdivision, “big box” retail use means any single business having a gross floor area of 30,000 square feet or more in which:
(i) goods or merchandise are offered for retail sale to the general public or to members for personal, business, or household consumption; and
(ii) services incidental to the sale of those goods are provided.
(B) Statewide cap of 50,000 square feet. Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision (8), all bylaws shall contain a cap on the size of “big box” retail uses that prohibits the construction or operation of a new or expanded “big box” retail use with a gross floor area larger than 50,000 square feet. Until a municipality adopts a cap on retail commercial uses in its bylaws consistent with this subdivision, this prohibition applies statewide to all municipalities and supersedes any inconsistent provision in any municipal bylaw or ordinance. Notwithstanding section 4481 of this title, this prohibition is effective July 1, 2005.
(i) Larger cap option in designated areas. A municipality may enact bylaws that prohibit the construction or operation of a new or expanded “big box” retail use with a gross floor area larger than 75,000 square feet, but only in designated downtown development districts, designated village centers and designated new town center development districts as defined in section 2791 of this title.
(ii) Smaller cap option. A municipality is authorized to enact bylaws that set caps that are less than 50,000 square feet on “big box” retail uses.
(C) Community impact study. The appropriate municipal panel is authorized to require an applicant for a “big box” retail use to provide a community impact study of the projected costs and benefits to the community resulting from the project, including:
(i) projected costs arising from the demand for and required improvements to public services and infrastructure;
(ii) the value of improvements to public services and facilities to be provided by the project;
(iii) projected tax revenues to be generated by the project;
(iv) projected impact on property values in the community and the potential loss or increase in municipal tax revenues resulting from the proposed project;
(v) projected net job loss or creation caused by the project and the resulting potential loss or increase in tax revenues; and
(vi) estimates of how much revenue generated by the project will be retained and redirected into the economy of the community.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street