The Fresh Market’s closure in March 2015 violated Edgewood Plaza’s Planned Community (PC) zoning requiring an operating grocery store as one of the center’s public benefits. The developer, Sand Hill Properties, was allowed to build $30 million worth of market rate homes on the site in exchange for the public benefits. Sand Hill continues to receive full rent payments from Fresh Market and City Hall did little to enforce the requirement until residents stepped in.
Seeing no incentive for compliance, community members demanded a fine for the PC violation. And last November residents flooded City Hall to insist the fines rise from $1,000 to $5,000 a day, which the City Council unanimously enacted. In April 2017, an administrative judge rejected Sand Hill’s appeal of the fines, ensuring continued financial pressure on the developer to comply with its obligation to provide a replacement grocery store.