West Kelowna gets rid of fixed mobile vending

Council unanimously agreed fixed mobile vending in West Kelowna has become more trouble than it's worth.

The District of West Kelowna will no longer issue fixed mobile vending permits.

Last year, West Kelowna issued permits for mobile vendors to set up shop at three locations: Marina Park, Gellatly Road and Westbank Centre Park.

The district issued all three fixed vending permits to one business—an ice cream vendor—June 21, 2012.

“My understanding is they utilized all three locations, but they were not there day in and day out, so that was one issue that we did have,” said Nancy Henderson, director of development services.

The district received no public feedback that illustrated an appetite for the vendor to be in the fixed locations. One letter of complaint was submitted from a nearby, competing business. District staff was unable to conduct an exit interview with the vendor to gauge whether or not the opportunity was even profitable.

Coun. Rick de Jong said he has been skeptical of the concept of fixed mobile vendors since the district implemented its policy last June.

“The concept of mobile vendors in general, I like. I think it’s adding amenities that the public can enjoy throughout the community,” said de Jong.

“But to provide a fixed mobile vendor…we had an incident this summer where one in Gellatly was in competition with an established business across the street.”

Coun. Duane Ophus said the fixed mobile vending trial run wasn’t what council intended it to be.

“To me this whole thing has become way more trouble than it’s worth,” said Ophus.

“I guess what I was hoping for last year was that we could go down the road of actually making a substantive difference in terms of offering amenities that are a little bit different around the waterfront. That just didn’t happen.”

Council unanimously decided to amend the Mobile Vending Policy to remove the option for fixed mobile vending and directed staff to proceed with an amendment that will remove all mobile vending related fees from the Fees and Charges Bylaw.