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Fighting for Our Life in Lone Pine

Posted on June 06 2017

Mary and Charlie inside Whitney Gear

We received notification a few days ago that there's a meeting to propose a new Inyo County Ordinance to ban all mobile vendors from operating on county roads. An exert from the Board of Supervisor's Agenda for Tuesday, June 6:

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS – Supervisor Kingsley – Request Board: A) receive information from staff and interested parties regarding the subject of “mobile” businesses selling goods or services out of trailers/vehicles parked on County streets for extended periods of time; B) consider and potentially introduce and waive further reading of a proposed ordinance adding subsection (D) to Section 10.36.080 of the Inyo County Code, prohibiting parking a vehicle upon a street or road for the principal purpose of selling goods or services out of the vehicle; and C) provide any desired direction to staff.

 

The purpose of the proposition brought forth by Supervisor Kingsley is nothing more than an attempt to protect a single brick-and-mortar store. The laws clearly state that the purpose of government is to protect the health and safety of the public. This proposition isn’t about public safety; it’s about favoring one type of business over another. In the Institute for Justice’s “Food Truck Freedom”, they state, “Enacting rules to protect some businesses from competition isn’t just wrong, it’s unconstitutional.”

My partner and I worked diligently to ensure when we launched our business in Lone Pine we would be 100% lawful, and we are. We have our permits. We even pursued the county to clarify vague ordinances. We were set to open our doors.

Once we arrived in Lone Pine however, our local Supervisor, Matt Kingsley, immediately put a target on us. He came by our business, speaking aggressively towards us, “If there’s not a regulation you are violating, then we are going to write one. I want you to know, I’m doing everything I can to get you out of here. We have businesses trying to stay in business here.”

We live in Inyo County. This is our home. We saw an opportunity to contribute to the 10s of 1,000s of hikers and backpackers who pass through here every summer to experience one of the richest outdoor recreation areas in the county and some of the most scenic trails in the world. We not only are excited to be here, we are needed! In previous seasons, there hasn't been enough stock at the single gear shop to fulfill the demands of these hikers/backpackers. And every year 100s are turned away because they cannot get the gear needed to safely ascend Mt. Whitney, the tallest peak in the lower 48 states. These visitors have traveled for hours and some for days when flying from around the world. Besides the intent to ban all mobile vendors being unconstitutional, it's a disservice to the community and our visitors to attempt to eliminate competition.

We are looking for help in fighting this ridiculous legislative move. For additional information, please send an email to mary@2footadventures.com or call (760) 614-1151. 

Thank you for your help!

Mary & Charlie

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