Merchants in Port Jefferson will be able to peddle their wares-with limitations- on outdoor sidewalks.
The village board, in an attempt to bring outdoor selling standards in line, voted to allow sales on sidewalks, which had previously been prohibited. Stores with goods for sale on the sidewalks had, in large part, historically not been fined for it.
The new code came about in essence to allow pedestrians to comfortably walk on the narrow sidewalks, which, according to the board, presents liability issues.
"We were hoping to find a way to limit but allow some displays of merchandise until we ran into an insurance issue," said trustee Larry LaPointe.
Tables and selling areas must meet certain height and width restrictions and according to the new code must be on private property, not public.
The code reads in part: Furthermore, merchandise displays are intended only for the purpose of exhibiting modest sample of goods offered for sale, and must not result in the creation of a flea market like atmosphere in which a large portion of the merchant's stock is displayed. In balancing these interests on public property, the interests of the general public and pedestrians must be of paramount concern and the interests of the vendors secondary.
"The purpose is to allow merchants who can fit a table...and not interfere with the sidewalks," said LaPointe. "I wish our sidewalks were wider, they are not."
Mayor Margot Garant said businesses will be given proper notification and time to comply.
"The current code prohibits it so what we've done is, we're trying to adopt a code, that's the only way you can have a cohesive plan. This has been in the works for over a year," said Garant at the meeting.