Begining new vending process for the plaza


Historic City News listened to a number of public comments, dominated by complaints from shop owners around the Plaza, leading to the City Commission deciding that only the market building in the Plaza de la Constitución should be used for vending.

Commissioners hammered out a plan for a new vending ordinance for the Plaza de la Constitución, which they agreed would be put in place before rescinding the existing ordinance.

City Attorney Ron Brown was directed to construct a proposed ordinance for the commission to consider that addresses assignment of twelve spaces in the Plaza market building that are to be assigned by monthly lottery drawing.

Operating hours suggested are 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Selected vendors will be required to provide evidence that they have registered to collect and remit sales tax to the Florida Department of Revenue.

There will be requirements for uniform signage.

City Attorney Ron Brown reported to the commission that courts have upheld a list of items that are prohibited for sale. Initially a “prohibited list” might include food, oils, beverages, incense, housewares, perfume, appliances, lotions, clothing, candles, sunglasses, jewelry, auto parts, toys, stuffed animals and other items.

Visual artists who are selling art will be restricted to the market area.

“The market could be an ideal vending venue,” Commissioner Don Crichlow said in introducing the idea. “It’s similar to Charleston’s market area, and I believe can become a nice tourist destination. It can also open up more traffic to the Aviles Street area,” he added.

Permit fee ideas ranged from $25 to $250 a month, the latter suggested by Crichlow, who said, “I’d like to see quality vendors in there.”

Brown will bring his recommendation to commissioners after studying other cities’ fees. Commissioners agreed, too, that the “prohibited list” will substantially reduce the number of vendors applying for space.

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