Polk County considers ban on chain businesses

Published 3:09 pm Thursday, July 24, 2008

Polk County commissioners are looking into the possibility of prohibiting chain businesses in unincorporated areas of the county.

Commissioners met Monday and approved sending the issue to the county planning board for study.

The legality of banning certain businesses is uncertain. Several people questioned how the county could discriminate against some businesses and not others.

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Polk County Attorney Tom Hix said he can see some possible difficulties with such a move.

&dquo;I can see that this could have some problems, but let&squo;s let it go to the planning board,&dquo; Hix said.

Commissioner Ted Owens, who suggested the item be placed on Monday&squo;s agenda, said, &dquo;You don&squo;t know until you try.&dquo;

The planning board will do the research and if possible recommend an ordinance for such a ban.

Commissioners also this month sent to the planning board the concept of prohibiting &dquo;big box&dquo; developments such as Wal-Mart in the county. The planning board likely will begin discussions on both these items during its August meeting.