Banff to vote on chain store crackdown
Plan for mountain town was defeated once before in July vote
The Town of Banff is considering closing its doors to chain stores.
Council will vote today on a bylaw that would limit the number of chain restaurants and retailers in town.
If it passes first reading, a public hearing will be held in January.
Town Coun. Grant Canning says some people are concerned the big retailers are putting local companies out of business.
"You have the dichotomy of it, of these two competing interests, and I think for most of our residents in particular they don't have an issue with Banff having formula-based businesses, chain stores, they just don't want to see a proliferation of them," said Canning.
The councillor adds the number of existing chain stores in Banff are some of the most successful business.
"Clearly our visitors want them, clearly our visitors frequent them, but for a lot of people it's also a community character issue. What is the essence of Banff? Do people come to Banff because we have a chain restaurant or a fast-food outlet? Or do people come because they're looking for something a little bit more unique, more like a locally-owned store."
If the bylaw passes, it would have to pass two more council votes before it becomes law.
This is the second time council has considered the plan; it was originally defeated in July.