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Some Wilson Leaders Want to Crack Down on Roadside Sales

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WILSON — First couches. Now roadside stands. Some influential people in Wilson say merchants who sell out of trucks or on street corners should be restricted. This latest proposal could hit some long time vendors in the pocketbook.

You can't stroll up to just any store and buy handmade yard decorations, but you can at Susan Worrell's produce stand in Wilson. Along with vegetables and plants, you can shop for yard art seven days a week.

"We've been here probably about six years," says Worrell. "We've had a lot of business and i really like being here. We've got a lot of good customers and they're real good to be around."

But, there's a problem. While it's okay to sell produce, selling ornaments such as Worrell's may soon be against the law. Some businesses say that peddler sales aren't fair because vendors don't pay the same taxes as indoor businesses.

Tuesday, Wilson's planning board could recommend to restrict some sales.

On a typical weekend, you can buy anything from food to living room furniture on this vacant lot, but you won't find it here during the week. Some believe the town is unfairly restricting permanent businesses when the real targets are merchants who sell on Sunday, then vanish on Monday.

Some, such as Willie Newman, say the town's leaders should lighten up a little.

"Well, I'm really not too crazy about the idea because it's a nice sight to look at," says Newman. "It's especially nice for my children. Every time we come by or stop by, they enjoy themselves and enjoy looking at them."

Sales of seasonal items such as Christmas trees could stay under the new rule, but if a recommendation goes through, it could make these paddlers a lot harder to peddle.

Wilson's city council would have to approve for the recommendation to become law. Like the recent couch ban, it could take months to take effect.


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