That ordinance prohibits businesses from operating on city property and covers a wide variety of business activities, including setting up a stand or table on a street, alley or sidewalk for the purpose of selling goods or services.
There are exceptions in the code for activities such as taxi services, mobile food vendors and community events like Crab Festival, but not explicitly for displaying merchandise for sale outside a business.
Rhonda Maker, owner of the Treasury on the downtown mall, received a $300 citation for having merchandise outside her business while it was in the process of being delivered to a customer. She has received other citations for displaying merchandise on the sidewalk in front of her business.
“We believe the outcome with the magistrate may have been different if it was cited under the other ordinance,” Kodiak chief of police T.C. Kamai said.
He also said the city attorney is reviewing both ordinances to make certain they can be applied the way the police expect.
If the attorney returns with an opinion that the ordinances aren’t applicable to placing merchandise on the sidewalk outside a business, Kamai said he would absolutely pursue modifying ordinance language before the city council.
Maker said she would appeal to the city council, as well.
“I’ll just be there saying whose side are you guys on,” Maker said. “Are you trying to promote or take away from business? Why go out of your way to create an ordinance that says I can’t sell anything outside my own store.”
She asked why the city would spend time and energy writing and passing an ordinance against the display of merchandise outside a business when she is trying to energize the business climate in Kodiak.
KPD’s concerns relate to the safety of having things in a walkway, Kamai said.
In addressing the safety concerns, Maker said anyone walking close enough to her windows to trip over a piece of carpet is too close to her window.
“There’s plenty of room on the sidewalk to get through,” Maker said. “It’s a wide sidewalk. I’m not going to do anything to hinder my customers. I just want to attract their attention. My idea is to enhance our business environment, not detract from it.”
Contact Mirror writer Wes Hanna at firstname.lastname@example.org.