You have to wonder if people actually read the things they sign. Part of the package for last Tuesday night’s Council Hearing on Peddlers and Street Vendors was this form letter signed by 12 business people in town. The first part is innocuous enough.
I am a business owner in the City of Twentynine Palms and it has come to my attention that the City is considering amending Development Code Section 19.33.060 Limitations on Hawking.
I can understand that one could have some problems with pesky peddlers trespassing on a fellows property and bother ones regular customers. But that turns out to not the problem at all.
The proposed changes are not compatible with established, brick-and-mortar businesses and would harm my business. Hawkers, transient sellers, sidewalk vendors and peddlers would directly compete with my business without having to provide the facilities or incur the expenses that I have had to as an established business owner.
What does that mean? Would another brick and mortar restaurant on the block or another flower shoppe on the same block be compatible with that established, brick-and-mortar businesses? Would it harm an existing “established” business any less?
Hawkers, transient sellers, sidewalk vendors and peddlers could sell merchandise within 100 feet of any established business.
How does the proximity of a Street Vendor to an existing business have a negative effect to the bottom line of a business who allows a Street Vendor to use their property? Well lets go on and see what the scare is:
For example, a sidewalk vendor could sell flowers within 100 feet of a flower shop; a transient seller could sell Mexican food near a Mexican Restaurant.
Oh my God, you mean that there can be competition in town for services?
“These are different types of business models,” Institute lawyer Elizabeth Foley told John Stossel in his article How The Government’s War on Street Vendors Keeps People Poor. “A florist can offer professional arrangement. A florist can offer delivery. A florist has a bathroom. Air conditioning. A street vendor is out there on the street, and the way they compete is on price and convenience; you can drive up and get your flowers and go home quickly. There’s nothing wrong with having two different types of business models competing near each other. It happens in America all the time.
“It’s not legitimate for government to use its incredible power to make one business model have an unfair advantage over another.”
The letter from our local businesses continues:
In addition, hawkers would not be required to provide parking as the City required me to provide for my business, nor would hawkers be required to provide restrooms for same-location hawking of less than four hours.
How is the stupid parking regulations the city has developed to impede commerce the problem or fault of Street Vendors? I’d say that the store owners’ beef is with the local government that imposes onerous regulations, not the street vendor struggling to make a better life.
In a letter to the Planning Commission, from the United States.Marine Corps.has.cited safety and security concerns regarding changes to the present code and “supports the code as currently written”.
Seriously? I’m calling for a reality check here. I think the White Folks are asking for the Brown Folks to be checked out. Well then lets do a background check on every brown skinned individual in business in town. Lets start with the Middle Eastern Sandwich Shop. Lord knows the Marine Corps needs to send them packing. They just don’t look like us. You talk about the most un-American BS ruse. Who gives a flying diddly truck what the security concerns of the base are in town. They are subordinate to civilian authority, not the other way around…. Read your Constitution.
As an established business owner in the City of Twentynine Palms, I support the present Development Code Section 19.33.060 Limitations on Hawking Ordinance. The proposed changes are incompatible with “established business use and would only harm my business.
What that means is lets keep competition out. We only need one Flower shop, one Taco Stand, one hamburger joint, lets close down all but one tattoo parlor, one nipple Piercer. We have far to many Auto Parts Stores. Let’s all watch the town die because we do not want to have progress, we don’t want innovation. We don’t want competition.
Street Vendors, peddling, and hawking has always been a way for the lower economic classes and new comers to this country, to climb the social ladder.
Major retailers like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s started out as street vendors. “Street peddler” was even an official occupation tracked by the U.S. Census until 1940, according to Alfonso Morales, an urban planning professor at the University of Wisconsin.
Pinks, Carls Jr., and even McDonald’s Started as Street Carts.
Los Angeles, 1941. Young Carl N. Karcher and his wife, Margaret, make a leap of faith and borrow $311 on their Plymouth automobile, add $15 in savings and purchase a hot dog cart.
One cart grows to four, and in less than five years, Carl’s Drive-In Barbecue opens with hamburgers on the menu. more….
“City officials are usually only looking at things cross-sectionally, not longitudinally. They’re not considering that over the long run small investments that people make in themselves and their families can sometimes turn into large paybacks in entrepreneurial activities,” says Morales. “Not always; small businesses fail all the time. But sometimes they pay great dividends.”
It is not governments job to pick winners and losers. If they have any responsibility in the free market system, it is to make sure there is a level playing field.
I am going to assume that my many business friends in town did not read or did not consider what they signed. I’m thinking that they had this letter shoved in their face and out of a need to not be brow beat just signed with out thinking of the unintended consequences of what they signed.
Here is the letter as written, that was signed by 12 Good Business folks in town.