City officials are slated to address outdated regulations for transient vendors at their monthly meeting tonight.
City of Cortez planning and zoning commissioners have received numerous inquiries in recent years from prospective business owners wishing to operate semi-permanent mobile vending units. The guidelines regulating these establishments are 20 years old, and commissioners have requested the City Council offer directions on how to process the requests.
“The regulations pertaining to mobile vending are not clear and concise,” said city building and planning director Kirsten Sackett. “Quite frankly, various sections of our codes conflict with one another.”
The dated directives were released in 1993 by former City Manager Bill Ray to serve as a guideline until a comprehensive policy could be adopted. Ray’s memo addressed outdoor sales of produce, fixed-route sales for Avon salespeople, door-to-door sales and even portrait photographers.
Current City Manager Shane Hale said the city’s code doesn’t clearly address business requests from semi-permanent mobile vending units.
“The current trend of requests that we’re seeing now, which have a semi-permanent nature, needs to go before the planning and zoning commission and ultimately the City Council to determine if this type of use is appropriate in Cortez, and if so, with what rules in place,” Hale said.
Views on transient vendors has been mixed among planning commissioners. One council member called the mobile business operations “tacky” considering the city is attempting to clean up the community. Another said granting mobile business licenses allowed entrepreneurs to test the market for long-term, sustainable operations.
In May, planning commissioners granted 90-day temporary permits to two mobile businesses. The Black Goat is located on the corner of Main and Ash streets, and Java Hut is located in the parking lot next to Big R.
The City Council meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight at City Hall on Main Street.