Baytownians want a clean city with amenities that will attract great people and new businesses to our community. Mayor Brandon Capetillo and city council have been focused on the same thing, but that can come with a few challenges and some difficult decisions.
In April, council voted to prohibit open-air vending in Baytown after several meetings and discussions on the issue. Years ago, council voted to limit open-air vendors to two 30-day periods each year.
Mayor Capetillo said, “This ordinance was created back in 2004 to prevent the large number of tent vendors that crowded Garth Road.”
Council explored other options in order to assist those who have properly followed the ordinance. However, the lack of consistency and fairness to citizens prompted council to vote to stop open-air vendors.
Capetillo added, “The challenge was enforcing the ordinance because you would have to go to each one to find out who had a permit and who didn’t. That’s a lot of time that police our could be focused on protecting our citizens.”
By not allowing open-air vendors, sidewalk sales can be identified immediately, easing the burden on police officers. Safety has been the top priority and will remain the top priority for City leadership.
Mayor Capetillo said, “It is ultimately a safety issue. We have people illegally selling animals that we can’t assure are healthy. I have seen people show up in a moving truck and try to sell their household items. We have had people complain because they bought something and couldn’t get a refund. Those have caused some tense situations. We don’t want to inhibit business in Baytown, but it has to be done the right way and making this change helps us with that mission.”
Vendors will still be allowed at officially-sanctioned events and will follow the existing permitting process.