Policy regulates commercial outdoor sales

By Wendy Byerly Wood - wbyerly-wood@civitasmedia.com

A new fee and policy is in place in the town limits of Elkin for those wishing to hold commercial, open air, accessory sales and limited duration events.

For commercial businesses wishing to set up a sale in a parking lot, these will be allowed, but a permit must be secured from town hall with a $100 fee for a two-day sale. Those sales can be held five times during the year, with a permit required for each event.

George Crater, town planning director, explained the new policy and how it came about at a September meeting of the Elkin Board of Commissioners.

“We looked at a license when the privilege license went away as a way to regulate sales on public property,” said Crater. “Commercial sales are what we are trying to regulate, people who sell shirts, pottery and other items and move from vacant lot to vacant lot. They will need to come get a permit, pay a fee and have written approval from the property owner.”

The privilege license permit tax was revoked by the Legislature in July, and the move is an attempt to regain some of the revenue the town will lose from that action.

Mayor Lestine Hutchens reiterated, “It is a commercial yard sale ordinance … a control feature for those who pick up loads of furniture or pocket books and want to sell them in the hotel parking lot.”

Crater said nonprofits who hold a 501(c)(3) will not be charged a fee for their fundraiser sales, but they will still need to obtain a permit from town hall.

Hutchens explained some of the state’s larger cities will lose millions of dollars with the elimination of the privilege license removal, but for Elkin it is a loss of about $46,000 a year, which included fees which were paid by internet gambling businesses no longer in operation.

Residential yard sales will continue to be allowed twice a year at the same address for a $5 permit fee each time, Crater reported.

He also noted that if a business is hosting a multi-vendor event, it would only need to pay the $100 for the main event, not each individual vendor be fined.

After discussing the new policy and answering any questions that arose, and hearing no comments during a public hearing, the commissioners unanimously approved the ordinance.

Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.

By Wendy Byerly Wood


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