Outdoor vendor stands, boxes could be regulated

By on August 7, 2010

by Martha Quetsch
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Village officials are considering adopting regulations for temporary vendors, such as food stands and movie rental machines, on private property in parking lots and outside of businesses.

The village’s existing Mobile Vendor Ordinance only addresses uses on public rights of way.

During a Village Board discussion on the issue on Tuesday, Trustee Thomas Renk said he was concerned about the village’s lack of regulations for temporary vendors on private property.

“Before you know it, we could have an assortment of businesses that are out of our control,” Renk said.

Renk said he did not want the village to become like Japan, where street vendors may sell almost anything, including beer.

“I’m not suggesting that would be a problem here, but it could get out of hand,” Renk said. “I would like to have some level of control.”

Village staff presented several regulations to the Village Board on Tuesday. Among those are requiring written permission from the property owner for the vendor; time limits for the vending structures; and proof of a health license if the vendor sells food. Other proposed regulations would establish the type of equipment the village would allow vendors to have and where they may locate, for example, within a certain number of feet from a business, on the pavement or on green areas.

Village officials do not want to amend the ordinance to prohibit short-term, nonprofit vendors. Renk suggested that if the village requires fees in the future, it could reimburse the fees to nonprofit vendors.

In addition to the proposed regulations, the board talked about requiring permit fees for temporary vendors, which some area towns impose. Oswego, for example, charges a $34.23 background-check fee and a $100 per-year fee, village staff said.

Regarding vending machines including movie rental boxes, Trustee Kevin Geary said the village should require a permit for every machine that is visible from the street.

Geary said he does not want the rules to be so restrictive that they may deter stores wanting vendor machines outside their businesses from locating in the village.

Another issue the board discussed was the need to regulate the appearance of vendor sites, which Trustee Melisa Taylor said was important.

Trustee Robert Bohler wants the village to prohibit collection boxes, such as one that was located in a commercial area in Sugar Grove in the past, because some people leave items outside the boxes.

“Sofas and chairs sat there for months.” Bohler said. “It was just an eyesore.”

Trustee Rick Montalto proposed that the village require vendors to post their contact numbers on the machines. Taylor also wants the village to keep a record of who owns each vendor business.

Trustee Mari Johnson instructed village staff to prepare permit and license options for the board’s future consideration. She also directed staff to determine how many temporary vendor structures currently exist in the village. Johnson served as village president pro tem Tuesday in Sean Michels’ absence.