DDA pushing to let vendors on North Beach

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

The Downtown Development Authority is pushing for businesses to be able to rent and sell items at Lake Charles’ North Beach

— just as they are now allowed to do along the promenade.

Most of the itinerant vendors would sell snacks, soft drinks and snow cones, but some want to bring in kayak, Jet Ski and

other beach-related rental items, said Lori Marinovich, executive director of downtown development.

On Monday, the DDA passed a resolution at its regular meeting to begin addressing rules and regulations for vendors in the

North Beach area to be drafted and presented to the City Council. The staff has put together some research and would like

to have a committee to send the information to the council for its consideration.

“We’ve had several inquiries about vendors on North Beach, so what we did was look at our promenade itinerant vendor program

to see how it would relate to the North Beach area,” Marinovich said.

The DDA has been working with the recreation department to come up with guidelines similar to those for promenade vendors.

The vendors would be allowed there from morning to evening but would not be allowed to be there permanently.

The DDA has not established rates, but it’s looking at seasonal rental leases for three months and annual rates, which would

be set by the City Council, Marinovich said.

Marinovich hopes to get the item on the agenda next week and receive approval at the council’s Nov. 7 meeting.

She said businesses are interested in seeking permits.

“If I’m a small business but I don’t have a permanent place of business, then I can come to the city and get an occupational

license,” she said. “If you’re itinerant, then you have to show proof where you’re doing your business from, but since the

city is the landowner it is kind of like a lease agreement.”

This is all a result of lakefront development measures passed by voters in 2007 to allow for commercial activity on public

grounds.

Marinovich thinks it would be a boon for North Beach as a city park.

“It is a wonderful new business opportunity,” she said. “And these vendors would provide more eyes and ears on the beach.

There would be a consistency of businesses being there.”