2014-10-24 / Community

Mobile vendor regulations proposed

If more than four vendors apply for spots around the Waterhouse Center, a lottery would be used
By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer

KENNEBUNK — Members of a selectmen subcommittee organized to draft a new ordinance regulating mobile vendors around the Waterhouse Center presented its new draft for a first reading.

The draft ordinance includes four vendor spots around the center. If more than four vendors apply, a lottery system would be used to draw which four would be designated to different locations around the center, Town Manager Barry Tibbetts said at last Tuesday’s meeting. The drafted zones for the center extend 350 feet in all directions.

In late September, the board placed a temporary moratorium on mobile vendors around the new Waterhouse Center, an openair structure intended to be a community gathering place in downtown Kennebunk.

The moratorium allows the town to gauge interest in the center, as well as draft a more stringent policy that would regulate vendors, such as a hot dog cart.

“Definitely what we did not want is 30 vendors there every day clogging up the works,” said Selectman Chris Cluff. “We wanted to make sure it was safe, secure, responsible all around.”

Said Tibbetts, “What we tried to do is to establish a way to have a zone around the Waterhouse Center that would allow us to regulate the number of street vending carts, or mobile vendors.”

“We would be able to regulate them by a certain set of additions that are described within this ordinance. Those vendors would apply for basically one of the four spots that is allowed in the ordinance.”

Nonprofit organizations will also be afforded space at the center. Vending space for nonprofits is “currently set at one position, but it can be expanded by the board,” Tibbetts said.

The new ordinance also proposes an option for the town to coordinate with nonprofit vendors in local parks on, for example, MaineStage Shakespeare events Tibbetts said.

“If you had a particular vendor that went in there and wanted to be the sole provider of refreshments for that activity, the board would have the opportunity to set that up,” Tibbetts said.

The vendor could act as a sponsor for the event. The same lottery system would apply if multiple vendors apply.

Select festivals or town events (May Day, Winter and Harvest Fests, Old Home Week, etc.) would be exempt from the limit on vendors with permission from the board.

Hours of operation for vendors would align with the town’s noise ordinance, which is 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., except Sunday, when it begins at 9 a.m.

The motion to hold a public hearing on Oct. 28 was approved.

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