Many Valentine's Day vendors ignore city ordinance - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Many Valentine's Day vendors ignore city ordinance

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

We see them on street corners and in empty parking lots. They are the small independent operators who are taking advantage of Valentine's Day.

Flowers, chocolates and gift baskets are sold loaded up and taken home, but some of those hawking their goods may be doing so against a city ordinance.

On this day known for expressions of affection, the playing field in the eyes of some mom and pop businesses may not be level or legal.

Stephanie Thomas is among those following the rules along Albemarle Road.

She bought a special zoning permit from the City of Charlotte that allows her to sell an assortment of Valentine's Day gifts.

Thomas said, "When there are other people out there selling their baskets and they  don't pay their 270 dollars for their license and we have to pay our 270 dollars for our license."

And that's the rub.

We found this example on Central Avenue.

We noticed, one zoning permit is in full view, but across the intersection the paper work escapes public view.

A number of locales had mixed results.

It is a risk that many are choose take, and back on Albermarle Road Stephanie Thomas is frustrated that a number of enterprises choose to look the other way.

"Not many people play by the rules," Thomas said.

The City of Charlotte zoning department tells WBTV that just 14 permits were issued for curb sales.

At this point, figures aren't available regarding the number of citations of those who have set up shop and managed to get caught in the act.

The city has more than 40 inspectors who could write citations.

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