Vendor permit ordinance revamped

A business displays wares on the Causeway. Proposed amendments to a street vendor ordinance will require a permit only if someone subleases their property to a street vendor. Enjoying ice cream on the Causeway are (front to back) Frances Kimball, Emily Secord, Jacqueline Laurent and Mikayla Fortin. (De Busk Photo)

Proposed amendments to a street vendor ordinance will require a permit only if someone subleases their property to a street vendor. Enjoying ice cream on the Causeway are (front to back) Frances Kimball, Emily Secord, Jacqueline Laurent and Mikayla Fortin. (De Busk Photo)

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — The appropriate changes have been made to the new ordinance that sets a protocol for permitting street vendors who lease private land or sell items on public land.

However, a few dozen affected business owners did not have time to review those changes before Monday night’s workshop. That’s because the document was not yet posted on the town’s website.

According to Naples Code Enforcement Officer Renee Carter, the ordinance is now available on the website, which is www.townofnaples.org

The next step is a public hearing, which has been scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 5. Then, a special town meeting vote will be required to finalize the proposed modifications to the ordinance.

The changes include a new definition for a street vendor. Also, the non-refundable application fee for the vending permit was reduced to $100 upfront. The remaining cost would be due — if the permit is granted. That $500 permit fee will be sought if a business subleases its private property to a seasonal vendor.

Those amendments have been reviewed by the Naples town attorney.

About 20 local entrepreneurs showed up to the Naples Board of Selectmen workshop on Monday night.

One of the businesses, SunSports+, like many of the local establishments in Naples, displays its items for sale outside the building. This will be allowed to continue without a permit.

According to Selectman Rick Parschak, “If a business that is selling antiques subleases his land to a person who wants to sell lobsters out of a cooler. The person who plans to sell lobsters would need to get a permit from the town because he is on private lands.”

Also, the fees are associated with someone who wants to operate on public lands, he said.

“Some people wanted us to change the ordinance so it only deals only with public lands such as Kent’s Landing and the rights-of-ways on the Causeway,” he said.

The board “feels strongly that we still need language in there for the private land in order to protect other businesses,” Parschak said.

“An example would be: Say someone near the Lobster Pound, say a person who owns a home across the street allows an individual to sell lobsters out of a cooler cheaper,” he said. “We need a license so people would have to ‘buy in’ to the business community. They would pay for a vendor’s license. We as a board would decide whether or not the vendor’s license is granted.”

Dee Smart, the owner of Sweet Laurel located near the Naples-Bridgton line, said she was glad to kick back and listen to the workshop comments instead of taking the floor. Smart spoke at an Aug. 12 meeting.

“I never wanted to step out as the poster child for this,” she said.

Smart was satisfied with the proposed alterations to the ordinance, especially the new definition for street vendor.

Now, most of the focus has shifted back to the Causeway and those businesses that have items in the public rights of way such as sidewalks and walkways.

According to Carter, “Anything on public land would be required to be removed. We are still maintaining a vendor permit.”

After the Sept. 5 public hearing, a special town meeting will be scheduled.

“In all this, it was not made entirely clear: When we go to special town meeting, we are voting on these adjustments,” according to Selectman Paraschak.

Therefore, residents will vote on the proposed amendments to the ordinance. The ordinance has already been passed so people cannot vote against or for the ordinance. Town’s people will be voting to accept the changes that have been made, Paraschak said.

“We are making these adjustments so it doesn’t apply to private businesses already in existence,” he said.

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