Commentary: How (Not) to Upscale a City


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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, February 9, 2007

Like of lot of new cities carved from Sacramento’s aging and tattered suburbs, Rancho Cordova wants to reinvent itself. To that end, it’s declared certain businesses to be imminent threats to public safety, health and welfare. A new city ordinance bans the establishment of new tattoo parlors, pawn shops and thrift stores.

City officials insist they are not targeting the Salvation Army, but the immediate impact of their emergency ordinance is to bar the charity from moving its thrift store into Rancho Cordova’s Zinfandel Square shopping center.

Because it allowed the lease at its old location to lapse, the charity worries it will soon be unable to do business anywhere in Rancho Cordova. That would be a shame.

The Salvation Army Thrift may not fit Rancho Cordova’s new upscale image of itself, but it’s hardly a nuisance. Times have changed. Thrift stores aren’t just for down and outers. They can attract the well-to-do looking for vintage clothing, antique dealers hunting for bargains, middle class families looking for furniture, and yes, the poor, too.

Surely Rancho Cordova can find a corner in its new improved city where the Salvation Army Thrift can operate.

 

Ginger Rutland writes for the Sacramento Bee Opinion pages.