Why do towns have Formula Business Bylaws?
Since the 1980s, dozens of forward-thinking Towns have successfully enacted Formula Business Bylaws (FBB) to protect their town centers’ distinctive character and sense of place from being eroded by the gradual encroachment of formula businesses.
While we all have our favorite formula businesses, which can be assets in our lives and town centers, experience shows that an excessive number can dilute a town’s unique character owing to their generic nature.
A Formula Business Bylaw provides a valuable planning tool with which a Town can retain its center’s unique character and prevent it from turning into Anytown, U.S.A. -- a fate that no town is immune from, not even a historic one, without this provision in place.
Currently, the Concord Planning Board has no means by which to manage the numbers of formula businesses in Concord Center or prevent their overconcentration. (West Concord Center has had a Formula Business Bylaw in place since 2011.)
Other towns in Massachusetts that have successfully enacted Formula Business Bylaws include Barnstable, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Nantucket, and Provincetown.
In addition, Formula Business Bylaws have been established in these states: California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington.