Cotati may be rethinking its independent business spirit, according to an article today in the Press Democrat.
Citing high vacancy rates of up to 70 percent in the Apple Valley Center and the Grapevine Center, city manager Dianne Thompson is quoted as finding the figures “alarming” and assistant city manager Micah Hinkle says “I’m very concerned.”
The vacancy problem comes in part because of the city's cap on fast food restaurants, which has prevented or deterred chain-type businesses from opening within city limits, Hinkle said.
"You really need a balance of local, regional and national businesses," Hinkle said.
Cotati has long prided itself on its independent businesses, and the relative absence of fast food restaurants and chain stores. Even the opening of a Peet's Coffee & Tea a couple years ago caused local controversy.
The figures cited by the real estate company Keegan & Coppin combined vacancy rates in Cotati with neighboring Rohnert Park, which has no such restrictions on franchises.
Patch earlier covered Keegan & Coppin study, and the city officials response to it, in this February 27 article.
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