POINT PLEASANT — Point Pleasant has passed an ordinance which will prohibit certain temporary, commercial trailers in the city from moving in as permanent businesses.
The second of two required readings was passed at Monday night’s special council meeting.
However, this means temporary, commercial trailers already in the city and operating as a business would not be affected by the new ordinance and would in effect be “grandfathered in.” One of these “grandfathered” commercial trailers is Karen’s Lunch ‘N Munch which is parked beside the State Theatre. The popular lunchtime destination on Main St. sparked the conversation on temporary, commercial trailers this time last year.
Back in 2011, Karen Pierson, owner of the lunch cart, was told she was in violation of existing city ordinances dealing with portable trailers as well as what was acceptable in the downtown, historic district. At the time, City Attorney R.F. Stein said he understood why those ordinances were cited in the violation but that they also weren’t exactly specific to her situation either - thus, the new ordinance.
In Pierson’s case, the previous council ended up granting her an indefinite waiver until the city could investigate or adjust the existing ordinances and she has continued to operate her business ever since. Pierson can continue to operate that business because at the time she set up shop downtown, it was not against the law to do so with her type of commercial trailer. However, no new trailers like Pierson’s will be allowed to move into the city as a permanent business.
Last year, several employees of the Mason County Courthouse spoke out in support of allowing Pierson to continue operating on Main St. and encouraged the previous council to not make it harder for businesses to exist in the area. It was also noted Pierson pays the city B and O taxes and has a valid business license.
If these existing trailers which have a “grandfathered status” were to move out for the winter and then attempt to return to the city, then there could be grounds the trailer would be in violation of the ordinance, and therefore the parking brake would have to be set in some other town.