Residents in Ocean Beach, California are working to protect their unique sense of place from corporate logos. Here’s a report on their efforts to keep out the ticky-tack retailers: “In March we placed a Formula Retail Ban proposition on the local Planning Board ballot and won with 77.3%. of the vote. We elected 5 activist candidates to our board, and another 5 to our neighboring Planning Board. We have also been running a boycott Starbuck$ campaign, and are having a protest on Sunday, March 24th. Here is the wording of the voter’s petition that passed overwhelmingly in Ocean Beach: Recognizing that the town of Ocean Beach is unique in character, that the small individualized retail businesses and restaurants play a large role in maintaining that character, and that the unique character of Ocean Beach is being threatened by the influx of formula restaurants and retail establishments, the undersigned citizens of Ocean Beach direct the Ocean Beach Planning Board to advise the City Council within 60 days of voter approval to modify the Ocean Beach Precise Plan to permanently ban any new formula restaurants and formula retail establishments in Ocean Beach and permanently ban the expansion of any existing formula restaurants and formula retail establishments. Formula restaurants and formula retail establishments should be defined as businesses that are required by contractual or other arrangements to be virtually identical to businesses in other communities including, but not limited to, businesses with standardized architecture, signs, decor, menus, food preparation policies, uniforms or products.
The community of Solvang, California has had a ban on “formula” retailers for years, and other communities have done the same (search this database by “formula”) For more info on the Ocean Beach effort, visit www.obgo.org.