How many dollar stores is too many?
KINGMAN – Dollar stores can offer convenience to the shopper looking to avoid crowded grocery stores, but with around 10 of these establishments in the Kingman area, Council on Tuesday began discussing how dollar stores may affect small businesses and retail attraction.
Vice Mayor Travis Lingenfelter requested the item be included in Council’s work session Tuesday after finding a sentence within Kingman’s Economic Development Plan indicating the large amount of dollar stores.
“That made me want to do some research, and the research that I found showed that dollar stores multiply rapidly, they focus on low-income areas, and that they’re possibly a burden on regular grocery stores like Safeway, like Bashas’, and then they also hinder retail attraction efforts in general for the city,” he said.
Gary Kellogg, City economic development director, explained that there is currently nothing within City regulations that would preclude dollar stores from moving into C2, C3 or C2-HMR zoned parcels. He said dollar stores can be a “God send” in smaller communities.
“In communities that are certainly larger, like ours, they can be and sometimes are a threat to smaller mom-and-pop based businesses or specialty shops,” Kellogg said.
However, he did note that in updating the City’s regulations, staff can look at form-based coding. Form-based coding helps to foster “predictable build results,” according to https://formbasedcodes.org/.
“When we looked at that, there are ways within forming districts that you can preclude certain things within a district in the form-based coding,” Kellogg explained. “And so when we certainly look at our regulations as we’re going to be doing starting July 1 to update everything, it certainly is one of the things to consider.”
Lingenfelter asked staff to check with local grocery stores to see if the number of dollar stores has had a negative impact on their business. He also requested that staff look into whether dollar stores have an effect on Kingman’s retail attraction efforts.
City Manager Ron Foggin said staff would speak to grocery stores about the effect of dollar stores on business. The item was discussed during work session, and no Council action was taken.
“I do think this is a prime opportunity to look at this issue, and I agree with the comments that it would be good to put some parameters so that we have them spaced out and in the appropriate districts,” said Mayor Jen Miles.