Do Raleigh Citizens Need Protection from Mobile Retail?
By Brent Woodcox
This week, Raleigh's Economic Development and Innovation Committee passed rules for mobile retail. The story from WNCN below...
What is frustrating to me are some of the other regulations that are being considered:
1. Permit mobile retail in some of the mixed use zoning districts (OX, NX, CX, IX).
2. Identify development standards associated with the use, such as separation from a building, separation from a building entrance, location within a parking lot, restriction on number of hours permitted per day.
3. Requirement that merchandise be located within an enclosed trailer
4. Specify the appropriate items that can be sold
5. Prohibition of a power drop or power supply run from the building to the mobile retailer
6. Allowance for a portable A-frame sign
Why not more zoning districts? I'm not saying that we should have these opening up shop in residential areas but why shouldn't they be allowed to set up in any commercial or industrial district where permission has been granted by the private property owner?
Why should there be a restriction the number of hours for sales per day? Do we have that for brick and mortar stores? What does it accomplish?
The merchandise has to be in an enclosed trailer? What about a sidewalk sale? Why can't some displays be outside to try to draw customers in? Again, is this illegal for brick and mortar stores?
Why are power supplies outlawed? Fire code? Shouldn't existing regulations be enough to protect against safety issues?
I feel like much of this is regulation for regulation's sake. Another symptom of the mentality that the default posture of government is to regulate or prohibit activity rather than the default setting be for freedom and individual rights.
We need to change that mentality to allow entrepreneurs and innovators in small business to prosper in Raleigh.