Racine's Becker era conditional-use law has been used to club another would-be business out of town. This time the victim is a funeral home that would have occupied the former Women's Club in downtown Racine. Opponents of the funeral home most often cited parking and traffic concerns as their reasons for opposition.
The conditional-use requirement essentially allows the city to circumvent their own zoning laws and make any potential business subject to a political process before opening.
The problem with the politicization of entrepreneurship is that the real reasons for opposition may not be so innocent. I am making no claims about the hearts and minds of the particular opponents in this case, but it is not a stretch to suggest that in some cases opponents won't want a particular type of person to open a business. That is, there might be discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, political persuasion etc... or to block a potential business competitor. There will always be ample "legitimate" concerns to mask the real reason for the opposition.
It is disheartening that the city has a law that invites and empowers discriminatory opposition. Prior to the conditional-use requirement, a persons race, gender, religion, sexual orientation etc... was not a factor in whether they could open a business in Racine. Is this progress?