PH ED Item 1
Planning, Housing and Economic DeVelopment Committee
Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney'
Bill 33-11, Urban Renewal and Community Development
Community Benefits Agreements - Large Retail Stores
Bill 33-11, Urban Renewal and Community Development - Community Benefits
Agreements Large Retail Stores, sponsored by Council President Ervin and Councilmembers
Navarro, Rice, Riemer, and EIrich, was introduced on October 11, 2011. A public hearing was
held on November 1 at which 39 speakers testified. See selected testimony, ©xx-xx.
Summary of Bill
Bill 33-11 would require the owner or operator of each large retail store ("big box" store,
as defined in the Bill) located in the County to enter into a community benefits agreement (CBA)
with 3 or more recognized civic organizations or demonstrate to the County Executive or the
Executive's designee that it has made a good faith effort to negotiate such an agreement.
From various testimony at the hearing and other comments, it appears
that many advocates (both for and against this Bill) are not clear on what it does and does not do,
and sometimes (in our view) have exaggerated its benefits and detriments. So that the discussion
of issues below and in Committee is based on what the Bill actually does, rather than what
someone hopes or is afraid it does, we offer the following specific points.
• This Bill would not require any owner or operator of a proposed store to sign any
agreement. It only would require them to negotiate in good faith with a small number
of civic organizations. (We discuss below what we understand "good faith" to mean
and how it can be shown.)
• This Bill would not supersede or interfere with the County's current land use process.
Its requirements operate separately from that process (unlike in some other
jurisdictions, as described in the law review article noted in footnote 2). Just as an
applicant for a zoning change or subdivision plan now can negotiate an out-of-court
settlement with opponents of the project, so could the applicant negotiate a CBA.
IThe economic analysis and land use sections of this memo were written respectively by Jacob Sesker, Council
Senior Legislative }\nalyst, and Jeff Zyontz, Council Legislative Attorney. They are not responsible for the rest of