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Pending Vendor Legislation Petition

My name is .   I am a resident of the Bronx in the and I live at .

It is my understanding that the City Council will be considering legislation that will increase the number of vending permits. I wanted to share my opinion and concerns with your office, regarding this proposed legislation. My home is located in a quiet residential community with good businesses that abide by the NYC Health Department regulations. As a resident in good standing in my community, I appreciate our food establishments keeping clean so that we will not get sick from food poisoning. Upon a closer inspection with many of the street cart vendors I feel that they are not clean and up to city requirements. They pose a threat to our health and our childrens health, as neighborhood children may stop there after school to get a quick something to eat. As a community we cannot understand how there are only 2 enforcement officers to monitor so many carts throughout the five boroughs. Due to the lack of enforcement, this allows these cart owners to get away with serious violations that can be detrimental to our community.

Having stated this we also feel that the carts reduce our market value of our homes. They are an eyesore along the business corridor and make the streets cluttered and in many cases causing dangerous driving situations by blocking the driveways of local businesses. They also have very bright and distracting signs blinking late at night as they stay open for business until about 3 am. In some instances because the carts are so big, they block the view of oncoming vehicles when we are entering or exiting the regular established businesses because the vendors decide to park in front of or near the entrances of these businesses. They also leave grease stains all over the sidewalk where they park. This is not only degrading to the community, but also unfair to the landlord of that property in our neighborhood. We as New York City Residents propose the following:

  1. That the Department of Small Business Services be designated as the lead agency, with respect to issuance of permits, the inspection of complaints and that any complaint must be referred to OATH for adjudication..
  2. That the Department of Small Business Services be responsible for the collection of the fees for the permits and maintain records concerning those fees and ensuring that they are deposited in the City’s general fund. That this same agency disseminate information concerning the collection of appropriate taxes, and that it share its records with the appropriate municipal and state tax agencies
  3. That the Department of Small Business Services be funded, to create a robust inspection force linked to 311, to investigate complaints
  4. That the Department of Small Business Services establish a vendor services unit, to act as a clearing house for the education of vendors on Best Management Practices for their carts. That this unit also be charged with providing an educational component for the vending community on New York City laws and custom
  5. That the vendor services unit act as a one stop permit center for the vendors
  6. That the Department of Small Business Services work with the BIDS, merchant associations, Community Boards and elected officials across the City, to select appropriate community sites, where the vendors will be placed, and that a mechanism be developed that will allow for the above entities to render an advisory opinion on the vendor sites
  7. That the establishment of "no vendor zones" be considered
  8. That new regulations governing the cleanliness of food carts and operating procedures for staff be put in place that mirror those that exist for restaurants, including a letter grading system
  9. That the development of any new law or regulation governing vendors should be printed in plain language that is easy for anyone to understand and that said development of any new law or regulation be subject to a public hearing process. That all of the existing and any new regulations established governing the vendor community be published on the agency website
  10. That the Department of Small Business Services maintain a dedicated staff of professionals to act as the liaison to community Boards, elected officials and the general public to answer questions about vendors and their operations
  11. That the Department of Small Business Services develop an advisory body of vendor representatives, traditional business representatives, Community Boards and elected officials to develop policy initiatives with respect to the vending community.
  12. That the participation of a "broker" who buys permits and subsequently sells them to vendors, who later job out work to others, on the carts be prohibited. That regulations be developed that require any holder of the permit to be actual vender and that anyone he/she employs be subject to all of the worker protection, salary and benefit laws governing all employees
  13. That the establishment of "tracking devices" be considered as mandatory to hold vendors more accountable.

In closing, I feel that the City has a difficult time regulating the existing number of vendors and that any plan to increase their numbers, without a comprehensive plan, similar to the one laid out above, will prove to be problematic.

Thank you for your attention and consideration of these matters.


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