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Roadside vendors cause for concern

July 26, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

I would like to voice my concern towards what I see as a growing problem with the proliferation of street side vendors here in Cape Coral. While I believe in the spirit of free enterprise and entrepreneurship, there is a growing situation here in the Cape that should be looked into by the city and the police.

There are a number of business people setting up -?squatting - on the roadside, setting up temporary structures to sell their wares. This is most particular on Pine Island Road close to the Santa Barbra Boulevard intersection. They sell everything from hot tamales, to tomatoes, to souvenirs and, while doing so, becoming a hazard to traffic.

There are several problems with this:

1) Whether or not this is private or public land, they have no right being there without the express permission of the owner(s). I find it hard to imagine that they do have those permissions because of the transient nature of those businesses. My observations are that they do move from spot-to-spot in the same close area, but still occupy undeveloped patches of road side.

2) Other businesses located throughout the city seem to follow certain codes before they can open shop:

a) They have to be located within the confines of an area designed for commercial trade.

b) They must provide proper parking, including a space(s) for handicapped.

c) They must have an entrance and egress lane, along with the proper signage.

d) Their location should be designed so as not to interfere with the normal flow of traffic and set back a certain distance from the road.

I am certain there are more codes for designated commercial areas than the above, and businesses may also be subject -but not limited - to inspections by the Health Department for sanitary meal preparation that may require sinks and lavatories for workers; licenses to collect sales tax; notifications of Workman Compensation rights for their employees, and the universe that goes along with today's businesses. In all fairness, all the other mom & pops along Del Prado and Pine Island Road have to pay their dues, so why are these enterprises the exception?

Cape Coral is a mecca to people from around the world. We have five-star restaurants, great venues for sports and entertainment, some of the finest schools around, and straight from Hooterville, Mayberry RFD and Dogpatch, we have these roadside outlets.

I hope the City Council and the police department will do their best to straighten this situation out.

Philip Abbondanza

Cape Coral



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