Batttle Looms over Malibu Chain Ordinance

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Malibu Times

David Waite was quoted on a July 17, 2013 article about a proposed ordinance the City of Malibu is considering that would require permits for new chain stores in its civic center. Waite is representing civic center business owners opposed to the ordinance who believe it is discriminatory.

“The ordinance, as framed, discriminates against national retailers, who provide needed goods and services, in favor of local merchants,” Waite told the paper.

Know as the Formula Retail Ordinance, the ordinance as it is now written would require that any new chain store wanting to open in the civic center go before the planning commission to obtain a permit and would limit the stores' footprint to 2,500 square feet. The ordinance defines formula chain stores as those having 10 or more stores operating in the United States. Existing chains would be grandfathered in, but new ones could have to clear various hurdles to be approved.

“Thus if Levis wants to open a store, it would be subject to the various restrictions (assuming it could open at all), whereas a local store that sells jeans, including Levis, would be subject to no restrictions,” Waite said.

While have been no threats of litigation, Waite told the paper that if passed, the law could lead to “balkanizing and fever-pitched litigation for many years to come.”

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