CRESTVIEW — The city may soon regulate commerce of entrepreneurs selling merchandise from a tent, vehicle or otherwise mobile structure, and garage sales.
City planning official Eric Davis has proposed requiring so-called itinerant vendors annually to receive a $50 permit from the city's planning and zoning department. The department would inspect the property intended for use, under the ordinance. The proposed law would allow code enforcement and law enforcement officials to ensure vendors have completed necessary paperwork, Davis said.
"We are not looking to find ways to keep people from coming; what we're looking for is some type of regulation or standard," City Clerk Betsy Roy, who assisted Davis in drafting the ordinance, said during a Tuesday work session.
Councilwoman Robyn Helt agreed.
"We just can't have a free-for-all for anybody to come in the city of Crestview and set up anything on the side of the road and operate a business enterprise," she said. "That could just be a nightmare."
Roadside vendors have raised concern, Davis said.
"This has grown out of issues we have had over years trying to enforce policies on vendors which are operating outside of brick-and-mortar structures," Davis said.
"We have all seen it: Every once in a while, we will have a flea market on Industrial Boulevard between (State Road) 85 and Interstate 10, and people are pulling off the four-lane highway ... parked all over the road, sideways ... it becomes a hazard," he said.
Also under consideration are garage sale regulations.
Some homeowners frequently have garage sales and use their homes as storefronts, which, Helt said, has raised resident complaints.
Davis suggested having city code-enforcement officials occasionally work on Saturdays to address those issues.
"As a prudent government, we have an obligation to see to it efficiently run on a Saturday," she said. "We can't just say that it happened on a Saturday so there is nothing we can do."
Davis said he plans to meet with city officials and council members individually to further discuss the ordinance. He plans to have the ordinance ready for the council to vote on in the next couple of months.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown sat 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.