Company sues Springdale over franchise ban

“We feel Springdale should have the right to remain unique because of where we are located,” said Cluff. “We want to adhere to the park atmosphere. It is a sad day when that doesn’t hold.”/

The Salt Lake Tribune
July 2, 2010

Company sues Springdale over franchise ban
Mark Havnes

A group of investors who want to open a Subway sandwich shop in Springdale are suing the tiny town outside Zion National Park over an ordinance that prohibits “formula” businesses.

Springdale isn’t the first place to take aim at franchise restaurants. In 2008, the Los Angeles City Council placed a moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in a section of the city where such outlets had proliferated and obesity rates were above average. And earlier this month in Sister Bay, Wis., officials proposed banning fast-food restaurants after a business applied to open a Subway and met stiff opposition, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Tourism officials there believe the outlets could diminish its appeal with visitors.

Springdale city leaders have similar concerns about franchise restaurants, according to Mayor Pat Cluff.

“We feel Springdale should have the right to remain unique because of where we are located,” said Cluff. “We want to adhere to the park atmosphere. It is a sad day when that doesn’t hold.”

She said if one franchise restaurant opens, others might follow and this is the first time the ordinance has been legally challenged.

The suit, filed June 17 in U.S. District Court, claims the investors’ constitutional rights are being violated and allege that racism could be a factor in the company’s license denial.

The lawsuit seeks at least $500,000 in damages, which is what the investors, incorporated in Utah as Izzy Poco, say they spent getting the restaurant ready to open this June before the city squawked. According to the suit, a license was granted and was up for renewal when the city’s fire chief realized the restaurant was a Subway and refused to inspect the premises.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/49834681-82/town-springdale-franchise-restaurants.html.csp


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