Outdoor displays to require permits

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — Many business owners with displays outside of their store are operating in violation of a new ordinance.

Currently, none of these Naples entrepreneurs are being fined. Also, there is no indication that fines are on the immediate horizon.

According to Code Enforcement Officer Renee Carter, first local business owners will receive a letter — notifying them of the ordinance change and informing them of the steps required to get the proper business permit.

Carter is still crafting the letter, which will get a stamp of approval from the town’s attorney before being mailed to addressees, she said this week.

At Naples Town Meeting in June, residents adopted the ordinance — governing street vendors and for sale items being displayed outdoors, according to Carter.

“As soon as an item goes outside, they (business owners) are considered a vendor,” Carter said.

The annual cost for such a business permit is $500 if the business is located on private land; and $2,000 if the business owner plans to sell items on town-owned land, according to Carter. This ordinance applies to all businesses in the Village District as well as all places zoned as commercial, she said.

The Village district encompasses the area immediately west of Route 35 (as it turns toward Harrison) to slightly past the Naples Town Office and prior to the Naples Fire station, Carter said. The Village district includes land more than one-half mile along Lake House Road and also along Lambs Mill Road, she said.

Meanwhile, the commercial zones run along Route 302 and Route 11, she said.

The business permit will allow storeowners to display items that are being sold inside the business. According to the ordinance language, it is an annual permit.

According to Carter, the business permit would be valid only for the year it was issued.

The adopted ordinance is only a few months old, and is still “a learning curve” for both the Naples Town staff and the Naples Board of Selectmen.

Carter said she could not predict whether the board would waive or reduce fees for the remainder of the tourist season.

“It is up to the selectmen,” she said.

“All nonprofit groups that sell items on the Causeway already go before the board of selectmen. Now, everybody will have to go before the selectmen,” she said.

In the ordinance “goods for sale” includes restaurants that have outdoor seating, Carter said.

“A street vendor is anyone who sells anything outside the building,” she said.


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