Originally Posted by click
Nice thought, but how do you do it?
Its one thing to 'promote' independent shops but where do you draw the line? Serious Coffee is a franchise. How do you differentiate between that franchise and a Starbucks or a Tims?
How do you tell a Basque or Fireside Grill that they can have a business license but not an Olive Garden or a Cactus Club?
Originally Posted by dilligaf
Short answer dilligaf... I don't know. Money speaks for itself.
There are bylaw options that can be introduced or existing ones that restrict business in an area or concentrations of similar services based on things like parking and traffic or even floor plan. It would take a development plan to iron out the legal aspects I would expect.
Where is the serious coffee shop?
If you ever tried to decide which companies could open in an area, you would open yourself to lawsuits on many different levels. Its one thing to say 'no big box stores dowtown' and a whole other thing to say 'no starbucks downtown'
No doubt they would be talking to their lawyers asap.
The bottom line is still the people. If a Starbucks opens downtown and nobody goes, they wont be there long. If it makes money, there may be two before long. Kind of like Tim Hortons.
Yes dilligaf you have common sense on the side of your argument, but all people are saying is that it would be nice if downtown Nanaimo didn't begin to look like downtown everywhere else in Canada. Coquitlam, Medicine Hat, Oakville, Langley, Kamloops and so on all look suspiciously the same. It would be nice if our downtown did not fall into that trap. I, for one, am sick and tired of "the lawyers" will take care of it attitude of corporation - We should be taking care of our local businesses because that's what makes us Nanaimo. The bottom line is not to let customers decide. That's like saying that it's best to not protest a war, instead will let them fight it out and see who wins when the players are the U.S vs. Burma --- it's OBVIOUS who will win even if logically there is a better cause to support. The bottom line is that time and time again big business comes in and destroys local business because of its ability to produce a homogenous experience (people choose what they know) and, or a cheaper product. Where are the lawyers to protect 'Nanaimo' instead of Starbucks, Wal-Mart, McDonald's and the rest? Why is it their right to set up shop wherever? Why don't we as a city have the right to keep them out? A business is not a person ;why do we act like it has the same rights? When every city looks the same aren't we heading to an Orwellian future?
Now that is Orwellian.
Originally Posted by Jingles
Maybe all those cities look the same because thats whet the majority wants. You seem to be saying that, because YOU dont like it, it shouldnt be allowed. And, hopefully I am wrong here, that the average person is not capable of making those decisions for themselves.
I have enough strength of character not to shop in a place that i disapprove of. If I do shop there, then by my very presence, I am condoning the existence of that business. I would never presume to tell you or anyone else that your rights or obligations to society are anyones responsibility but your own. The bottom line is that we need less government in our lives not more. To do that we, as a people, must be prepared to act in a manner that defines what we believe in. In other words, vote with your feet.
Be prepared, living in a democracy, for others to do the same. Even if it may not be the way you want it to go.
Look at this thread shoot off in two directions, gotta appreciate that freedom.
And on that note; I once thought less government was what 'we' needed. Not so anymore, don't think so, not at all.
Perhaps this peasant has a limited knowledge of the big picture but what I am seeing is a single focus taking over society in general and a serious loss of unique national identity, individuality and respect. The focus is on money at any cost.
"If it aint worth a buck it aint worth doing" seems to be the battle cry.
IMHO we need less business involved in government.
As for my shopping habits and the big box vs. personal shops. I do both.
My budget items like winter coats, washing machines and TVs come from the wharehouse.
Food comes from every outlet including grocery stores to farm markets ( we raised our own beef this year and buy organic broilers from a farm in Cedar). Identity items like art, bling, gifts or dress clothing etc are bought from the most unique places I can find and almost always accompanied with a sit down for lunch or coffee, as independent as possible.
Build it and they will come. Establish zones for opportunity through planning and community involvement.
It's that easy. lol
I dont have a problem with that. The problem is with who dictates whats in a zone. Zone an area for a coffee shop. No problem. Zone an area for No Starbucks, thats a big problem.
Originally Posted by click
Zone an area for NO Big Box Stores, no problem. Zone an area for No Walmart, thats a big problem. I dont like Walmart. I seldom ever set foot in it and only as a last resort. But they have every right to operate in Nanaimo. Whats next? The idea of excluding one company over another for the same business is ludicrous.
The same is true of any restaurant or coffee shop, chain or not. If you zone an area for a coffee shop, then let the market decide. The downtown area and the conference center have been subjected to the biggest misinformation campaign imaginable. The people against it have brought in rent-an-expert types to create an atmosphere of fear. Every kind of tactic they could get away with has been tried.
The truth is that downtown is already a better place because of the conference center. 5 years ago, Commercial was a wasteland of empty storefronts and pawnshops. Now it has great boutique shops, new restaurants and cafes with more to come. Victoria Crescent is coming back as well. Basque, Fireside Grill and the other small shops and cafes there are bringing people back down to the area. The crackheads and hookers are being pushed further out of downtown. This is all attributable to the NNC plan. The Conference Center and the new condo towers are combining to create a positive attitude downtown for the first time in a long time. Once the conferences begin, you will see chains and nationally known brands downtown.
Not saying I like that idea, but its going to happen in a free society. Might as well prepare for it.
Last edited by dilligaf; 10-24-2007 at 02:19 PM.
As the opening day gets closer, it is becoming obvious that many people are starting to believe.
I am just wrapping up another successful conference and trade show (8th of 2008) here in Nashville. I know how much I have spent on going to these conferences and look forward to that kind of money coming to downtown Nanaimo
I agree that we can't tell which businesses to stay out of downtown, but our by-laws can tell them how they would need to develop if they want to put stores downtown. For instance, within the Official Community Plan you can have development objectives to maintain the quality and scale of the downtown, stressing the pedestrian realm, or to not have big-boxes or ribbon commercial development along the major artery (i.e. Terminal Ave). I haven't yet had a thorough read through the draft OCP but the draft Downtown Urban Design Plan and Guidelines is an interesting read....
Last edited by shifty; 04-08-2008 at 09:01 PM.
We need to avoid the black and white impression that some people support the conference centre downtown, and OTHER people want to keep downtown unique.
And yes, a lot of people who didn't support the conference centre are now conceding that it seems to be working out. I'm not a huge fan of how the place looks (too contemporary without being modern), but I'm certain it'll be an improvement on those ratty, ramshackle places that were there before (a part of me clings to some idea that some of those might have been restored).
I do think the place will be successful economically.
I'm curious about what'll happen culturally. Obnoxious tourists? People painting in the plazas? Junkies at night, rootin' through the conference trash bins? Local students enriched by the new museum and a resulting sense of regional pride?
Will the monied business exec conference guys improve conditions for our prostitutes? Unexpected results...
Just thinkin out loud. I'm excited to see changes downtown, especially when they don't require demolition of viable heritage buildings and foliage.