The Holmes Beach Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to move forward with a moratorium on chain, or “formula,” businesses.
With a 5-0 vote, officials will now proceed to a second reading of Ordinance 16-15 at a later date. The moratorium in Holmes Beach comes months after plans for a new Baskin Robbins-Dunkin Donuts caused great worry among some island business owners and officials and also spurred conversations on the possible regulation of formula businesses.
According to the ordinance language, the moratorium is “on acceptance, processing and issuance of new permits and business tax receipts and applications that would allow for new formula retail establishments within the city limits for a period of eight months beginning June 14, 2016.”
Holmes Beach Mayor Johnson said Monday the effective date is June 14, which is when the commission voted unanimously to pursue the moratorium.
“When I moved here I never had any worries about McDonald’s being on every corner because it used to be the joke that Starbucks was moving to the island and everybody knew it was a joke because there was no business in the summertime and in the fall,” said Holmes Beach Commission Vice Chairwoman Jean Peelen, adding that many restaurants used to closed for the month of September. “There was no danger that any national chains were going to establish here.”
However, Peelen said, Anna Maria Island is becoming more and more of a year-round vacation spot.
“That’s what’s being sold by the TDC (Tourist Development Council) right now,” she said. “They’re pushing the ‘shoulder’ seasons, which is the spring, summer, and fall therefore we are now becoming very attractive to formula businesses and so this is the perfect time to enact this.”
Holmes Beach Commissioner Pat Morton echoed Peelen’s sentiments.
“I’ve been out here almost 23 years and the face of Holmes Beach and Anna Maria Island has changed so much,” he said. “It’s time we do something.”
Officials also picked at parts of an ordinance on the regulation of vacation rentals for clarification and spoke about a possible ordinance that would officially prohibit public urination in Holmes Beach.