Look on the issue of the ability to do business in town I have been championing the ability of the small Entrepreneurs to enter the business world with as few restrictions as possible.
Doing a little business in town is not an easy task. Legally you just can’t run down to city hall and buy your little license, hang your shingle and you are ready to go. It just doesn’t happen that way.
All my wife and I want to do is to be able to set up our Hot Dog Cart in front of a couple of friends businesses once in a while provide a needed service and supplement our income. We’ve passed through all the hoops Health Department, the State, health cards, inspections, and a pretty substantial investment over the years to sell a few hot dogs for special events.
All we’ve wanted is to help our local business community out by working with local business. Pretty simple concept… A business needs a draw, something to bring customers to a fellows Brick and Mortar business. Everyone likes Street Food. Most everyone likes a good hot dog.
The reason you do not see a hot dog stand in front of the local hardware store is not that it would not be a draw but it is not permitted under the present Development Code. The funny thing about 29 Palms is the the way the Development Codes are interpreted, they are exclusionary. Exclusionary in the fact that if it is not specifically allowed in the code it is verboten.
The Codes no matter how well intended do not meet the needs of entry level entrepreneurship of this quickly changing society. We have been quietly working to change the Codes. We quietly lobbied city hall. We found a receptive ear in our Planning Commission. After 3 study sessions, a public hearing and 9 months of being on the back burner the Commission hammered out a tough Street Vendor Ordnance that was a good start and would allow Street Vending, Peddling, and Hawking. But more importantly would allow entry level Entrepreneurship without the prohibitive requirement of renting a downtown building or not being able to test the waters of Self Employment.
We naturally had our continuing letters in opposition to the proposed change in the Development Code, the most notable Lori Hebel. Herbel would like to have everyone believe that street vending would hurt what she believes as her exclusive right to Hawk and Peddle and at the same time deny local businesses a seat at the table. What Herbel will not tell the Council or the planning commission is this whole reason of visiting the development code was brought about by her not allowing local homegrown businesses to participate at her Farmers market (I am happy to provide the paper trail of this to the council or Planning Commission upon request) . It turns out that Lori Herbel is not a very nice person at all. But then other than her trying to stop others earning a living, it has little to do with this new proposed ordinance.
Herbel’s complaint has been that Street Vending would somehow cut into her exclusive “Right” to Peddle and Hawk. Early on the commission hammered out both an exclusion zone (1,000 feet) and a requirement that no Street vending, hawking or peddling be allowed on the days that Herbel held her little Farmers Market. She continues to complain.
The other detractors seem to worry about peddlers from out of town. Herbel is the classic Carpetbagger. She lives in Yucca Valley and the majority of vendors are not from Twentynine Palms . [I have been informed by "Melanie" that there are three hawkers / peddlers / street vendors at the Farmer's Market that are local... I stand corrected.]
Our family have been contributors to this town as property owners and business owners since 1979 and My wife and I have lived in town since 1987. Our Youngest Son (36) graduated high school from here. My Business license for my Communications Business is Number 51. I Bought my license on the very first day they were offered.
Back to the Public Hearing…. I am going to assume that our Council saw some problems with fairness and equity in the proposed Development Code changes. A great deal of time was spent by Councilman Corbin in suggesting ways to clean up the proposal’s language. Concerns were made for veterans, separations, and the limitations on the ability to conduct business. Councilman Harris was concerned with the ability to make a living with the limitation of a total of 60 days a year. Ultimately the Council wisely sent the issue back to the Commission for revision.
I am hoping that as the self appointed representative of the Street Vending Industry, we will be able to hammer out an even more fair development code that will allow Street Vending, Peddling and Hawking and still protecting the interest of the Brick and Mortar business community. In the end all we as business people should want, is to provide to the consumer the best product at the best price in a convenient and healthy manner.
I am reminded of our friend Steve Whitten when he said about the subject, “KISS, Keep it simple Stupid.”
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- WHY DOES LORI HERBEL NOT USE HER MARRIED NAME?