Should Fair Oaks Limit Number of 'Big Box' Stores?

Communities around the Bay Area are considering placing restrictions on chain establishments. Should Fair Oaks make the same consideration?

It seems like Fair Oaks is home to a variety of large and small business chains, both corporate and homemade.

As , looking at ways to improve business in The Village, smaller towns in outlying Marin County communities are considering placing restrictions on chain retail stores and restaurants.

At last week's FOVEC meeting, members discussed possible research on planning departments, universities and other businesses to find out what the committee would need to complete its business market study. A part of that study included ensuring the types of business FOVEC included met a certain aesthetic congruent with existing businesses in The Village.

FOVEC chair Greg Vincent has expressed the idea that including larger corporate chains in The Village might work against what FOVEC is trying to accomplish as according to the committee's strategic plan. That plan includes providing a diverse assortment of businesses that helped not only improve commerce in that area, but maintain a vision of The Village.

Should FOVEC consider restricting certain types of businesses over others? More specifically, should FOVEC restrict the inclusion of bix box businesses in The Village?

McDonald's Out, What Moves In?

The Village is not the only shopping area where to see its businesses either move out. Shopping centers throughout Fair Oaks face similar hurdles where businesses are shutting down or simply relocating to adjacent lots. Some of those businesses being corporate chains, like a McDonald's that moved from one location to another less than 200 yards away.

Months have passes since any forward progress has been made as to what should be built on what is now just a barren spot where a McDonald's once stood. The when last Fair Oaks Patch reported on the topic.

Fair Oaks' Chains

Fair Oaks is home to many "big box" stores. At the Madison Mall, most of the businesses are national chains, like or and restaurants like .

Across the street at the Madison Pavillion other corporate chains like  and  are main attractions along with corporate supermarket . However, the shopping center is also home to pet supplies store  owned by Fair Oaks native .

Finch's story drew local controversy when competing big box . Finch was able to raise enough money, however, to opt out of her lease and move her business to its current location.

Do you think Fair Oaks should have restrictions on the amount of big box stores allowed in the community's limits? Tell us your thoughts in the Comments below.

linkpin June 21, 2012 at 10:44 PM
I think they need to worry about restricting the number of hair salons instead.
LarryM June 22, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Fair Oaks Village and Madison Mall are two completely different locations even though they are both in the Fair Oaks zip code.
Eve June 22, 2012 at 03:05 PM
I would like to see limitations. I had to go shopping in Citrus Heights looking for a particular item - which I never found - and got so depressed in these BIG STORES with NO SERVICE. I miss the old Birdcage Walk when it had the birds, Cafe Royale, Corti Bros. and one could enjoy walking around there. I don't want to see the same happen to our Fair Oaks. At the Safeway shopping center which is very lovely, the vacant spaces should be some nice cafes, bistros, ladies clothing and such like Cho-cho's near Trader Joes. Shopping would be enjoyable. And service would exist. At the vacant McDonalds why not another restaurant? Casual but not a national chain. Local chains are fine with me. And please let's keep our village as it is. Yes some improvements to beautify it but let's not make it 'cutesy'. That becomes too expensive and we've lost our sense of community if we cater to just 'outsiders' for their bucks. Right now I love the farmers markets, concerts in the park and movies. We need more small cafes though with outdoor dining to take in all the pretty trees and chickens:)
Joshua Staab (Editor) June 22, 2012 at 03:24 PM
I think that's a fair point, Larry. It's not as if a community could do away with large chains altogether. But maybe there's a place for everything?
Patty M. June 22, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Big Box Stores are okay on Sunrise, Fair Oaks at Greenback and on Madison. As for the village, nothing has ever replaced the drug store that closed in the late 1980s or early 1990s. I still miss it. If not a drug store, a ceramic art and gallery shop that offers lessons and the public use of kilns for firing would be nice to have in the village.
Jennifer June 29, 2012 at 12:39 AM
What big box store does Fair Oaks have?
Joshua Staab (Editor) June 29, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Hey Jennifer, be sure to check out all those businesses in the links above. Those are just a few examples of large corporate chains throughout Fair Oaks.
Jennifer June 29, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Yes they are chain stores, but big box. When I hear of big box I think of Lowes, Home Depot, Costco etc. Those store really take away from the smaller chains. Should we go back to mom and pop stores? To answer the poll: No I don't think we should stop "big box" stores. I believe in the free market.
Dr. P July 12, 2012 at 04:43 AM
It really irritates me to read that the Madison Mall property owners are in no rush to replace the old McDonald's. The barren lot gives off a horrible trashy feel. I agree with Patty, that big box store on the larger roads (Madison, Hazel, Sunrise) are OK, but the Village should remain as is, with its independently-owned businesses. Establishments that I would love to see in the Village? A full-service restaurant with outdoor seating, an ice cream shop, or a vegan bakery. There used to be a children's consignment shop, which I loved, but it wasn't open on Sundays which made it a difficult place for me to shop.


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