''We are looking at creating a walkable, pedestrian-friendly downtown and not a cement, automobile-driven strip of fast-food restaurants, banks, and liquor stores."
--Michelle Tyler, member of Randolph's Master Plan Implementation Committee
Randolph Town Meeting recently approved a zoning change that would allow creation of a business district that would keep out "formula" fast-food chains, gas stations, and " other businesses that local leaders deem out of keeping with their vision of the downtown as Randolph's civic hub," the Boston Globe reports.
Town officials stress that they don't want to ban such businesses. However, they want control over the sense of place of the heart of downtown, and believe such businesses are a better fit just outside the town center.
At first glance, it looks like these officials understand that great downtown business districts don't simply happen by getting all the neighborhood storefronts rented. Someone needs to have a vision as to proper mix of retail and other businesses, and look & feel to encourage people to stroll and stay.