Williams-Sonoma Must Jump Hurdles To Return Home

Published January 19, 2012 5:36AM (EST)

SONOMA, Calif. (AP) — The Sonoma City Council won't put a temporary moratorium on big chain stores in its historic district, but is still considering regulations that could make it difficult for cookware giant Williams-Sonoma to come home.

Chuck Williams first opened his little shop in the heart of Northern California wine country in 1956. He moved the store from Sonoma to San Francisco just two years later — and went on to build a chain that today is worth some $3 billion.

But plans to go back to its roots in downtown Sonoma are in flux as the City Council drafts an ordinance to regulate and possibly ban large chain stores from the historic downtown plaza. After a lengthy public debate before the City Council on Wednesday night, the city shelved the issue for further discussion.

By Salon Staff

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