City to propose new restrictions on sidewalk sales

Friday, September 6, 2013 - 10:43pm

For shoppers looking to score a good deal, or others looking to just pass the time, sidewalk sales attract a lot of foot traffic downtown.

And for many merchants in neighborhoods like South El Paso street, it's their bread and butter.

But the City of El Paso is proposing some new restrictions on sidewalk sales that businesses say could be disastrous.

One business owner told Local4News that sidewalk sales make-up between 35% to 40% of their revenues.

The new restrictions would limit the amount of space a business can use for displaying their merchandise to half the width of a storefront, and prohibit businesses from blocking their windows with displays.

The Central Business Association says sidewalk sales are what give downtown most of its flavor and culture, not to mention draw in tourism to the area.

"Shopping is the main thing that drives people to downtown. So, it's so important just to have a vibrant area where people can shop and they enjoy shopping and coming, and it's different than other places," said Edie Zuvanich, ‎Marketing Director at Starr Western Wear.

El Paso City Council has yet to approve the new sidewalk sales restrictions.

Local4News reached out to city officials, but they said they cannot comment at this time.

They are set to discuss the proposals on Tuesday during a closed sesion meeting with city developers and attorneys.

One business owner on South El Paso street says he has already been working with city staff on a compromise.


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