Street vending: Further consideration at TC’s DDA
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Speaking of food trucks…
Remember last summer’s street vendor ado at the City Commission and Downtown Development Authority? Originally, it was all to be very quiet, just increase the seasonal permit to $100 per day and watch the vendors disappear. Fortunately, there was considerable push-back backed by sound business experience and community common-sense. Street vending, it turns out, is desired and beneficial to the City.
The simple equation is: Food = People = Business.
Since that time, the City Commission has held several sub-committee meetings charged with revisiting the pricing structure, locations, and regulations; all good. From what I hear, things have moved in a positive direction from the original restrictive permitting structure to something more balanced and encouraging of the entrepreneurial and foodie spirit. Show me the tzatziki sauce!
One detail yet to be determined is street vendors in the DDA (Downtown) district. The regulations in the DDA remain $100 per day (summer) and locations are restricted to private property. Downtown businesses are exempt from vending permits, so the permit targets independent businesses who pay rent to vend on private property.
Tomorrow morning, the DDA has a chance to make a recommendation towards being more hospitable. The meeting starts at 8:00 a.m. and takes place in the Commission Chambers at the Governmental Center. I suspect that there is some healthy disagreement on the board and DDA director Bryan Crough has outlined 4 options for the board to consider. You can read the entire packet below, but those options are:
The DDA Board recommends no change to the current policy, basically allowing any kind of vending on private property with a $100 per day fee during summer months, with no vending allowed on public property.
The DDA Board recommends that food trucks be allowed in public parking spaces at a yet to be determined annual fee, on the streets described in the attached map.
The DDA Board recommends that food trucks be allowed in public parking spaces anywhere at a yet to be determined fee.
The DDA Board recommends that the staff with the assistance of DDA Board Members put together a public forum, with invitations to all downtown property owners and businesses to gain input on the issue with a recommendation back at the February 15 meeting.
If you look at the 5th page of the packet, you will see that at least one DDA Board member is in full support of adopting policy to encourage food vending. Commissioner John Di Guacomo served on the DDA ad hoc committee to consider the options and came away seeing this as an economic opportunity not to be missed.
As he optimistically writes in the memo, “I recommend that we get out of the way and see what, exactly, happens.“
If interested and motivated, the DDA meets at 8am in Commission Chambers at the Governmental Center, and support for street vending is encouraged. Alternatively, send them an email today with your comments.
- More reaction to TC’s steep day rate for peddlers (MyWHaT)
- The economic and civic opportunity of street vending (MyWHaT)
- The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill (iaspreparationonline.com)
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