Libertyville restricts mobile vendors on public roads

Libertyville is cracking down on vendors who sell goods out of their cars and vans.

Village trustees approved a new regulation on June 10 as a way to protect downtown rent-paying retailers, and to improve traffic conditions. Before the vote was called, Mayor Terry Weppler apologized to local ice cream truck owners.

“We can’t pick and choose who gets prohibited from doing business,” Weppler said. “All we can do is regulate types of business in general.”

The new ordinance creates five mobile vendor licenses that allow companies to sell products on private properties only, such as parking lots for office buildings or shopping centers.

Each approved vendor can park on private property in Libertyville for more than an hour only four times in a year. Those four multi-hour visits must be at least 14 days apart and cannot be made to the same area.

Mobile vendors are strictly forbidden in downtown Libertyville because most of the parking lots are publicly owned, and village officials said they’d rather not have constant arguments with people who get ticketed.

A few trustees also mentioned a woman who often parks her car on Milwaukee Avenue and sells items out of her truck.

Weppler said the new ordinance protects the downtown retailers, who are making significant investments in the community.

All hope is not lost for the ice cream trucks, however. Weppler said if an ice cream truck owner gets a license and while on tour, the driver tells people where the truck will stop on private property, that would be a legal practice — so long as the truck doesn’t stay parked for more than 59 minutes.

Trustee Richard Moras, however, said he believes the ordinance makes life too difficult for ice cream truck owners, and will drive them out of town. Moras was the lone opposing vote, as he vocally stood behind the age-old tradition.

Vehicle-based merchants taking part in festivals or the farmers market are exempt from this ordinance.

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