Santa Maria's City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday halting any additional discount stories in the city's downtown area.
The temporary ban was enacted so city officials could study the impact of retail downtown and the effect on future development plans.
Santa Maria's downtown plan has always strived for a mix of high-end and discount department stores. However, the reality has been more interest from discount store companies to open downtown, rather than higher end shops. The most recent store which will open soon is Fallas, located in the old Mervyn's location.
City leaders told NewsChannel 3 the intent is not to ban discount stores throughout Santa Maria, only to monitor them in certain zones such as downtown.
The ban on new downtown bargain stores lasts 45 days and was enacted after city officials got word of another discount shop making plans to open. The ban can be extended a total of two years, while the overall downtown development plan is studied.