The city of Brownsville is setting up an ordinance to protect the public from unregulated sales. The primary goal is to stop individuals from setting up shop just about anywhere.
Ordinance Enforcemtn Supervisor Eraquio Garcia says, ““What people do is they create these wares, or they order stuff without going through the proper channels and getting a permit and what not. And then they are selling at any parking lot and any vacant lot or anything like that. We’re not, no, it’s not permitted.”
One of main targets is fruits, vegetables and other perishable items. Especially during the upcoming holidays.
Brownsville Police Department PIO, Melissa Gonzalez, says, “Illegal Street vending comes up around seasons such as Valentines, Easter, and Graduations. When you buy things off the street, you never know what you’re getting. It could be expired candy. So we are just looking out for the safety of the public.
Enforcement will not lead to jail time, but it can lead to fines. After talking to some of the residents that do conduct sales, they say they do not plan on stopping any time soon. Such was the case with this seller wanted to remain anonymous.
“What the people do is they want to give us a fine for having a yard sale. These people need some money to buy milk or whatever for their children so they cleaned out their closet and they decided to have a yard sale. So the other day they were in another area and they wanted to fine them. They gave them a warning. And they said, ‘if you have another yard sale it is going to be a hundred or two hundred dollar fine.’”
One thing city officials wish to clarify is that Garage Sales and the sale of vehicles outside homes are not affected as long as they follow proper procedure. However individuals are not allowed to sell such items, including perishables, in major intersections without the proper requirements.