Incoming Dollar General Sparks Talk of New Anti Cookie-Cutter Codes
Dunedin commissioners suggested adding façade design concepts in its architectural guidelines to reduce the cookie-cutter look of incoming businesses Thursday, after reviewing plans for a Dollar General slated for Belcher Road.
Early plans for a Dollar General discount store sparked discussion of whether staff had addressed its cookie-cutter design during Thursday night's City Commission meeting.
Commissioners unanimously approved the concept plans for the 9,100-square-foot Dollar General to be constructed at 1260 Belcher Road, at the site of a former Bank of America near State Road 580.
Greg Rice, planning and development director, said that while Dollar General's architectural style is not one recommended in the city's architectural guidelines, it is an upgrade from a base prototype model.
The architectural guidelines for developers were adopted during an era when the city wanted to address the look of condominium and residential development.
The guidelines offer several styles for multi-family residential structures with multiple floors, but only one for businesses — "Mediterranean Revival," which is difficult for many to fit into their concept design, Rice said.
Commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski said asked whether staff could suggest façade improvements, rather than wholesale architectural design standards, that might eliminate the cookie-cutter look of new businesses, especially retail chains. She said an example of good-looking façade improvements is the McDonald's restoration on State Road 580. Fellow commissioners agreed and gave direction that staff should present enhanced guidelines that could prevent a cookie-cutter look in the city's business districts.
Rice said enhanced façade guidelines would improve the look of business corridors, including State Road 580, Douglas or Patricia avenues. He said a staff report could be presented to the City Commission as early as January.