As Roslindale Village Main Street begins to fight against a proposed chain pet store, the group is beginning to seek city regulations that could cap the number of national stores and restaurants that could open in the city's neighborhood business districts.
Roslindale Village Main Street holds a meeting to talk strategy on keeping Petco Unleashed out of the South Street storefront being vacated by JB Edwards. The session, to which both Petco and city officials have been invited, starts at 7 p.m. at the Roslindale Community Center.
At the meeting, group officials will discuss a proposal for a formula business ordinance to set limits on just what sort of non-local "formula businesses," or chains, that can set up shop in the city's 20 Main Street districts:
With many Boston Main Street districts becoming increasingly attractive places to own property, operate a business, and set down roots, many of the very national chains and "big box" stores which once shunned these districts are now seeking to set up shop and call Main Streets “home.” While "big box" stores and national chains can serve an important development function in any business district, their unchecked proliferation can also destabilize and degrade business districts, driving out independent merchants and making neighborhood business districts feel uniform and soulless.
To preserve and reinforce the decades of "place-making" work that the Boston Main Streets program has won awards for, the time has come to put in place protections that will ensure that Boston’s neighborhood business districts continue to feel like special places with a strong sense of community. To that end, we propose that the City of Boston begin development on the next stage of the Main Streets program - Main Streets 2.0, if you will - and establish policies and guidelines which think of Main Streets as the places they are, not just the program that it has been.
Ironically, Roslindale Square has one of those big boxes - the Staples on Washington Street. However, unlike Petco Unleashed, that store does not compete against any locally owned businesses in the area.