A packet was distributed on Friday morning (just 3 days before the Task Force meeting) that will virtually halt all vending activities on public property. The Itinerant Merchant Task Force has failed the mobile vending industry in Fayette county. These regulations will stifle innovation, reduce legal businesses and clearly demonstrates our local government's inability to listen to those they represent. These regulations MUST BE STOPPED.
This is an "all call" for help. We need business owners, activists and lawyers to GET INVOLVED! Please call your council member, email the council members or write a letter demonstrating just how wrong this is. Our local government officials are going far beyond protecting the public health and safety and firmly taking a stance against mobile vending of all kinds in Fayette county. In all seriousness, we really are seeking more legal representation. Please have any interested attorneys contact Sean Tibbetts.
In a nutshell the limitations are as follows (some are as of yet undefined):
- Not allowed to use any portion of public property anywhere in Fayette county other than the downtown vending zone 5 (b)
This clearly would eliminate any sale of any good or service that utilizes public land including sidewalk sales and the like.
- Any land operated by Parks and Recreation is off limits 15-12 (c)(1)
Any actvity in any park, unless sponsored by the city, is off limits to all vendors. Period.
- Not allowed to potentially block any sidewalk, street or any other public space 15-12 (c)(2)
This is the worst one of all. This regulation states that you can not locate any place where you "would cause a blockage"...not that you did cause one, but not allowed to be any place where you *might* cause a blockage. How is blockage defined? If one person has to alter their walking path is that a blockage? This rule basically eliminates any vending on any public space as the vendor would obviously cause a blockage and if they were doing well, would certainly cause people to congregate.
- Not locate within [blank] feet of a like, open business 5 (d)
How does this protect anything but their economic interests? This is a clear protectionist policy and without definition of "like" how does one know if they are in violation or not? If the a food truck and a brick and mortar both serve something on a hamburger bun does that make them a "like" business?
- Not allowed to operate in any residential zone. Period. 15-12 (d)(1)
All lemonade stands must immediately cease operations. They are clearly a for profit sole proprietorship that has not been properly licensed and is operating in a residential zone. Anyone selling lemonade on the street corner must be prosecuted to the full extent of the regulation and fined up to $250 for each day of operation. Ridiculous.
- Not locate within [blank] feet of another vendor 5 (e)
Why should the government decide how close one candle seller is to another? How does this impact health fairs where multiple service providers are in the same space? Beyond this, all businesses do better when part of a group than as an island. This rule clearly forces food trucks to separate from each other and eliminates the possibility of a food truck food court.
- Setup no earlier than 10 PM and be completely shut down by 4 AM 5 (f)
Setup and tear down can take an hour or longer and no commerce takes place during that time. This regulation actually limits most trucks to 11 PM to 3 AM.
- Cease operation upon being provided a legitimate request 5 (i)
This is forced business shutdown without any due process, only the receipt of a complaint. This is clearly a situation of guilty until proven innocent.
- Ensure no lighting could be considered a nuiscance 15-12 (a)(8)
How can one ensure that no light on any rig will ever be a nuiscance to any person? If a particular light bothers some person, what is required to remedy the situation? Will the vendor be suspended from operating because one person complained about the color, brightness or type of light being used?
- Hours of operations:
- 7 AM to 11 PM 15-12 (b)(1)
This section states 7 AM to 11 PM, however with the buffer zones and lack of a "like" business definition, operating during these hours in the tiny vending zone leaves very little space available to operate.
- 8 AM to 10 PM if within 500 feet of a residence 15-12(b)(2)
How is every truck supposed to comply with this? Are we to measure every public space we go to and ensure there is no residence within 500 feet? How is this fair to apartment complexes or others that would like to have a food truck or vendor fair but can not simply because they are a collective of residences?
- Must shut down at the same time as the business on the parcel if other than 10 PM
- 7 AM to 4 AM if in the downtown vending zone
- Not allowed to be in a location that creates "pedestrian access issues for any other business." 15-12 (c)(3)
What is a "pedestrian access issue?" How does one cause an access issue? Doesn't a line outside any brick and mortar create the same "pedestrian access issue?" For that matter, how about all the sidewalk cafes that block most of the public right of way? How do these cafes not create pedestrian access issues?