Soldotna updates mobile vendor code

Last week, the Soldotna City Council passed an ordinance updating their mobile vendor code. The new code includes different types of vendors, not just ones that are self-contained.

Soldotna’s Director of Economic Development and Planning John Czarnezki said there have been several instances this summer where vendors were operating without a permit and not to code. After talking with city attorneys, Czarnezki said the best option would be to amend the current code to cite offenders who do not have a permit and are operating against code.

Czarnezki said in some cases people had set up tents or display tables. The former code did not address this type of mobile vendor, but the new language included in the ordinance offers a way for the city to deal with the type of vending operation.

“After talking with our attorneys, if the vendors are operating in a way where we would have never given them a permit in the first place, then that wouldn’t be an appropriate response to those type of vendors,” Czarnezki said. “They suggested that we amend the code, add some language that basically states selling food or merchandise from a vehicle or tent or trailer that isn’t consistent with our code is an illegal activity, and therefore we would then have the ability to enforce these standards under our code.”

One other minor change added to the ordinance was a provision for mobile vendors to display a sandwich board sign as part of their operation. Czarnezki said this should give vendors another way to advertise their unit and menu.

The ordinance to add the new language was passed unanimously at the meeting.

City Manager Stephanie Queen said the new language is unique to people who operate in the city, and not those that receive special event permits.