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Knox County Commission discusses permits for vendors

8:21 PM, Oct 13, 2012   |    comments
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Every weekend in Knox County you can find tables lining major roads and residents selling everything from clothes to furniture all at a discount.

Now, the Knox County Commission is taking aim at those sellers and will talk on Monday about how to better regulate the transient vendors.

On Saturday, Randy Little wanted to sell some old items. His family decided to set-up shop for the day outside an abandoned building in Halls.

They don't do it often, just every once in a while to make some extra cash. Word of possibly having to pay to set-up camp made Little frustrated, "I don't think it's right, people gotta make a dollar some how."

All over Knox County vendors set-up and sell old and new goods many times in empty parking lots.

Knox county commissioner R. Larry Smith says he has received dozens of calls from residents who think the vendors sometimes make the community look bad.

"It's just a major eyesore, the constituents are just really upset. There probably hasn't been a day that goes by that I haven't gotten an email that says, "What can we do?"

He is proposing a change to the current "Peddlers and Solicitors" ordinance. He would like the vendors to pay for a permit in order to sell, "We are trying to get people, if you want to do this, get a permit to do this so we can control it a little bit and keep that down. If you want to take this and have it in your subdivision, that's ok."

Linda Beal agrees with the Commissioner. She's only sold a few times on the streets, but thinks a permit could be helpful.

"If I did this regularly, I wouldn't mind paying for a permit," explained Beal.

However, she sees how some sellers might not be able to afford that, "You have to have some money for some things, you know?"

The Knox County Commission will have a first reading and discussion of an amended ordinance Monday afternoon.

The exact wording and changes are unknown.

We do know this would most likely fall under the Codes Department. Smith says they would not target food, firewood, or produce vendors, or neighborhood yard sales.

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