Public to vote on limits for Ketchikan jewelry stores

Posted: Sunday, August 26, 2007

KETCHIKAN - Ketchikan voters in October will determine whether the location of future jewelry stores should be limited.

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Borough Clerk Harriett Edwards certified a ballot petition Friday to put the issue on the October municipal ballot.

Edwards said 594 petition signatures were valid. Sponsors needed to gather at least 533 signatures of registered voters to put the initiative on the Oct. 2 ballot.

The question on the ballot will ask: "Shall a new section be added to the Ketchikan Gateway Borough code of ordinances establishing land use density limitations for jewelry stores?"

The initiative calls for prohibiting future jewelry stores from locating within 200 feet of each other. The rule would not apply to existing jewelry stores that do not close for more than eight consecutive months.

The initiative defines a jewelry store as a business that has jewelry in more than 40 percent of its display area.

Petition sponsor Charlie Arteaga said the group, Citizens for Ketchikan's Future, is pleased its initiative will be on the ballot.

"We have overloaded on jewelry stores, we could have written something that said let's plan better, but the problem is we have over 40 jewelry stores downtown," Arteaga said.

Rob Skinner, president of the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce, called the initiative flawed and said he didn't think it would pass.

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