Florist: Tryon ‘cut her throat’ for $5

Published 2:44 pm Friday, February 20, 2009

She said she approached the BiLo vendors and asked them to leave, but they said they had a town permit and permission from the business owners to be there.

Tryon Town Council agreed that allowing BiLo to sell Valentine gifts just a block from Goodyear did not help the local economy and decided to research its ordinances to find out how it occurred. Apparently, the town in the last few months amended its zoning ordinance to be more restrictive, possibly even requiring a port-a-jon for such sales, but the code of ordinances allows such sales with a $5 permit.

&dquo;The town permit system seems to be broken or non-existing,&dquo; Brennan told town council. &dquo;We need our town looking out for the best interest of its tax paying business owners. Helping us make the money and not selling us out to any competing fly-by-night tent sales.&dquo;

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Brennan said she felt like the town &dquo;cut her throat for $5.&dquo;

Town council members seemed to agree that the permit shouldn&squo;t have been granted.&bsp; Councilman Austin Chapman noted the town&squo;s recently amended zoning code that he said he almost didn&squo;t vote for because it seemed too restrictive. He said he remembers the town code being so restrictive the town doesn&squo;t allow children to sell lemonade.

Barrie Baker said the town&squo;s vendor ordinance is so restrictive it denied a child from selling cookies in front of the coffee shop.

Town officials are researching possible differences in the ordinances that could have resulted in the permit being granted. They say they plan to make the codes match if there is a difference. Council members also said the town needs to ensure that those enforcing the codes and issuing permits are knowledgeable about the new ordinances.