Transient vendors bylaw dead

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - Amherst is not going to begin regulating outside vendors that come to town for a few days.

After looking at what's being done in other areas of the province, Amherst chief administrative officer Greg Herrett said there isn't enough evidence of bylaws in other municipalities to control fly-by-night businesses.

At the same time, he suggested, municipalities don't want to tell shopping mall owners how to run their businesses.

"Based on our research regarding outside transient vendors there isn't much being done in other parts of Nova Scotia related to transient vendors," Herrett told members of town council at its December committee-of-the-whole meting.

Herrett said the feeling around the province is the companies that run the shopping malls and pay a fair amount of tax already and that should give them the authority to determine who sets up businesses within their buildings.

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality does have a vendors and traders of good bylaw that addresses licensing fees for special events and craft fairs, Christmas tree and lobster sales. It has also expanded the definition of a transient vendor to include retailing clothing from a hotel location.

Council asked staff to looking into a vendors bylaw in September after receiving complaints about a furniture store that at the time was thought to be a temporary operation. That company has since become a permanent fixture and would not have been impacted by a transient vendors bylaw.

The town last looked at a transient vendors bylaw in 2006 when an outside auto firm sold vehicles over several weekends at a local shopping mall. The bylaw proposal was opposed by the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce and the management of the Amherst Centre Mall, who felt it was directed at them and contrary to their ability to generate revenue. The agriculture community was also opposed to a bylaw.

Amherst did move forward with a transient auto vendors bylaw that requires an outside firm to pay $2,000 a day for licensing. The maximum fine is $10,000 per day.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Area Chamber of Commerce

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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  • Joe
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    No big surprise. The scurge that is transient vendors will continue to hurt amherst businesses despite the fact the amherst and area chamber commerce didn't want one and that group is made up of hard working amherstonian business owners. Its all so very confusing when government tries to appease one person.