Explanation of recommended changes to the Street Vending – Business Licensing Ordinance Basic problem addressed: The city has received many complaints over the years regarding street vendors who have set up large sidewalk displays right in front of downtown businesses that they are in direct competition with. The downtown businesses pay many thousands of dollars a year for their rent, mortgages and property taxes and are also financially responsible for the sidewalks immediately adjacent to their establishments while the street vendors pay less than $100 per year for licensing. Some street vendors have also chosen to abuse their parking privileges in the downtown business district. The current business licensing ordinance does not provide adequate boundaries to protect the businesses heavily invested in the downtown business district. These proposed changes are an attempt to establish some reasonable rules for street vendors so that they can market their products in a manner acceptable to most downtown businesses. The City has also received requests to provide a business license that is less expensive and for a shorter period of time. This is also addressed in the proposed changes. 1. Definition change: The existing definition of the “Transient Merchant” is for a one year license, has no options for a shorter license, and does not fully define what a Street Vendor is or what they vend out of or from. The definition describes a Street Vendor as any firm or corporation that sets up a temporary premise and sells goods out of the temporary premise. The existing ordinance does not define what a “temporary premise” is. a. The proposed change defines a Street Vendor that vends out of a temporary premise and defines the temporary premise to include: pushcarts, vehicles, trailers or other readily mobile sources. b. In addition to further defining the street vendor there is a proposed addition of 3 different time frames a Street Vendor can be licensed for: i. Yearly. The Street Vendor, which is referred to as a “Transient Vendor”, has the option, under the proposed changes, to license their business in the same manner as the existing ordinance. The yearly license has no limit as to the amount of days per year the Street Vendor can vend. This proposed license has the same fee as a General Business license; $54.00 for the yearly license that will expire every May 31. ii. One week. Again this Street Vendor is referred as a “Transient Vendor”. This proposed change has been requested by the vendors that come to Missoula for the “Annual Boat Show” or for other events that are infrequent and usually do not last more than a week. This proposed license has the same fee as a Table in an “Organized Street Vendor”; $14.00 for the 1 week license. iii. 90 day. This Street Vendor is referred to as a “Transient Merchant”. This proposed change was requested by vendors that only want to vend in the summer months at places like “Out to Lunch at Caras Park”. This proposed license is one half (1/2) the General Business License fee; $27.00 for the 90 day license. 2. Time restrictions: In the existing ordinance the only restriction was removal of set up by street vendors by 9:00 pm of every night. The proposed change of allowing the vendor to set up for 6 hours in one spot within a 12 hour period would allow other street vendors the ability to set up in “more profitable” locations and allow an even competitive edge to all street vendors. 3. Size Restriction: In the existing ordinance there was no limit as to the size of the display or vending area that the street vendors could occupy. The proposed change would permit 50 square feet of sidewalk to be occupied by a street vendor. This request to limit the amount of space a street vendor can occupy has been presented to the Business Licensing office on numerous occasions in the past. Limiting the size of occupied sidewalk space would also allow for the Street Vendor to be in compliance with the other aspects of the ordinance which includes the 5 minute set up and removal time and the off street parking proposed by the parking commission. 4. Parking Restriction: In the existing ordinance there is no parking restriction. There have been complaints in the past that the street vendors have been occupying spaces directly in front of their vending operation all day long, thus taking up parking spots that should be available to the customers of stores fronting on the street. This has caused much dissension between the business owners and the street vendors as the downtown businesses state that they are occupying spaces of potential customers and during nice weather months the parking commission has been fielding 6-8 phone calls per day about these street vendors. This proposed change would also give more power to the Parking Commission to ticket or remove the vehicle that is in violation of the ordinance. 5. Area to set up: In our current ordinance, the area that a street vendor can set up has been limited to areas that are 10 feet from a door opening. The proposed change adds a requirement that street vendors not set up directly in front of a store with a window display marketing their products for sale. The display window is defined as a window display that has goods for sale and relies on window shoppers as a part of their business. There is ample area in the Central Business District that the street vendors can set up. The main areas that the street vendors set up on are in the blocks just south of the Higgins Bridge up to Main Street. Some of the businesses that are located in the area that the vendors can and do set up in are not directly in front of a display window. For example: The Hammond Building on Higgins and Front Street; 111 N Higgins Ave (ALPS Building); First Interstate Plaza (125 E Front St), 201 N Higgins, which is a bank, all of which have few or no window displays that the street vendors can set up on front of. Areas are Marked below: a. 6. Location of a Street Vendor that is selling items similar to an established downtown business: This proposed change is to not allow a Street Vendor to set up within 200 feet of a Downtown Business that sells a similar item, such as a Street Vendor that sells jewelry setting up in front of a jewelry store. The intent is to dissuade street vendors from setting up in front of businesses that sell like items to help protect the retail businesses that are already established in the downtown area. 7. Vending out of parking spaces: Our current ordinance has a requirement that vending out of parking spaces in the Central Business District is restricted to customers on the sidewalks. The proposed change is to not allow vending from parking spaces in the Central Business District unless the vendor receives a permit from the Parking Commission. This is being proposed because there have been instances of very large vehicles taking up many parking spaces to market their products, thus depriving the downtown businesses of parking spaces for their customers. In the existing ordinance these vehicles would simply plug their meters and would not violate the parking requirements. The proposed change will not allow parking a large vehicle in the CBD without permission from the Parking Commission. In addition, the proposed change will allow the Parking Commission to ticket or remove the vehicle that is in violation of the proposed ordinance.