As the city tries to address the matter, however, Mayor Emery Doughtie asks business owners to comply with the current ordinance.
This approach, the mayor said, “Will make them feel better about us and us feel better about them.”
Doughtie said the city, “Wants to try to look out for what’s best for everybody.”
He said the city will look at ordinances of other municipalities.
The city has received several complaints of businesses along the avenue displaying their merchandise, Planning and Development Director Amanda Jarratt said last week, and the city has no choice but to enforce the ordinance, which is addressed in 98.03 of the city’s general regulations.
The provision explains it is unlawful to cook or sell food, have shoeshine operations, or display goods for sale or advertisement.
The law does have a provision for loading or unloading goods in front of stores if there is no delivery space in the alley.
A letter sent to eight merchants simply states no merchandise, goods for selling, advertisement or any other purpose may be placed on any sidewalk.
The city has said business owners are encouraged to talk with their council representatives about getting on a work session agenda. Work sessions are held the first Tuesday of the month at 5:15 p.m. at city hall on Roanoke Avenue. Council meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at the Lloyd Andrews City Meeting Hall on Jackson Street at 7 p.m.