I know this is going to be unpopular, but I agree with the shutting down of the cart. This isn’t a little girl opening a lemonade stand in her front yard. This was someone exploiting the foot traffic provided by the merchants of the area who pay all the property taxes and area upkeep. Letting one person slide is not right. Soon the entire place would be crawling with carpet-bagging food merchants.
And the kid being 13 has nothing to do with this. Don’t go full progtard and be swayed by your emotions. The city was right to do what they did.
The Daily Caller readers don’t see it that way. They are siding with the kid.
Before opening up shop, Johnson said, they stopped by city hall, just across the street from the cart’s location, to ask if they needed a permit to sell food. His mother explained that a woman at city hall told her no permit was necessary.
The business was short-lived and the city of Holland shut down the stand 10 minutes after it opened. Zoning officials cited laws that prohibit food carts in the commercial district that are not connected to downtown brick and mortar restaurants.
Mayor Kurt Dykstra turned down the family’s appeal to city council last week, saying that it was to protect downtown restaurant owners who had asked that the “success of the downtown district not be infringed upon by those who don’t share in the costs of maintaining the attractiveness of that space.”
In a statement, the city explains:
The downtown business owners annually pay substantial assessments (often reaching into the thousands of dollars) for improvement and maintenance of the free parking lots, amenities and events, and “snowmelt” to keep the downtown alive and well – and these assessments are on top of their regular property taxes.
With that in mind, it is understandable that these businesses, historically at least, have been reluctant to allow mobile vendors into the downtown area to benefit from the environment the brick and mortar businesses have created, compete with them for customers, but not contribute to the substantial capital and operational costs of the downtown.
The kid was free to move his hot dog cart to another location. When this was pointed out by one reader another reader said, “ya, but he needs to set up the cart where all the customers are, not just anywhere.”
Exactly. And if this person thought a minute about what they just wrote they’d see why they are wrong.