Back in April, a News&Guide report that Starbucks planned to open a store on the Town Square brewed up a venti-sized dose of dismay.
Java junkies were jittery at the prospect of the megachain draining business from local coffee shops. Critics appealed to the town government for help. One friend wrote on Facebook:
“WTF? Jackson Town Planners?!?! Seriously. Walgreens and now Starbucks. B/c we really need those chains right… They just fit right in with the LOCAL folks who already serve up great coffee.”
The town government has little regulatory authority to keep out chain businesses, other than issuing building permits to ensure codes are met. In this case, the building inspector rejected Starbucks’ initial application because the store would have exceeded capacity (49 people) and had entrance problems (being inside another business, Lee’s Tees). As of last week, the company had resolved those issues, and the town was set to issue a building permit.