published: Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Council discusses mobile vendors
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING -- Council members tabled a number of issues during last Tuesday's meeting including proposed commercial and non-residential zoning districts.
Planning and zoning director Jim Polatty presented a review of the many items that are up for re-zoning during the workshop. The proposed changes to the code will, in theory, make the code "more understandable and easier for the public and developers to use."
The main issue that was discussed at length during the workshop was the significance of the addition of an ordinance that touches on the mobile vendor issue.
Currently, there is no mobile vendor-specific ordinance in the code that suggest mobile establishments are allowed to place their businesses in the parking lots of other businesses.
Though there has been little to no issue with mobile vendor owners and property owners, most council members thought it best to put in place an ordinance that covers the issue in full.
Council member John Clark, however, disagreed.
"I don't think we should even stick our noses underneath that tent," said Clark. "You're wanting to create an ordinance where there is not a problem. Why are we making legislation when there is no need for it? It's unnecessary."
Council members mulled over the idea of allowing mobile vendors, such as mobile food trucks, within the city limits. The members spoke about a time frame, if the ordinance is created, that would allow mobile vendor owners to "squat" on public properties for an allotted amount of time.
Council members agreed that mobile vendors already somewhat violate code, for example with the Highlands County Fair.
"I guarantee you none of those vendors are supposed to be there. Technically it's wrong," council member Andrew Fells said.
Members agreed to allow vendors within the city limits but tabled the issue for a later meeting.
Council members passed the fire department's tower repairs request for $12,400 by Promise Technologies. The repairs will help with leakage to the structure and significant water intrusion.
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