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County planners to look at mobile businesses

Fans of good barbecue in and around Thomson have given Poppa's lots of business in recent months.

The owner of the mobile barbecue vendor that is typically located in the Auto Zone parking lot recently put the fate of his business in the hands of the Planning Board.

Currently, mobile vendors are only allowed to conduct business in McDuffie County for a total of 60 days during a calendar year. Jarvis McNair, who runs Poppa's, hopes to change that.

On Nov. 7, he submitted an application on behalf of his and other mobile businesses to modify the zoning ordinance so that those vendors could conduct business throughout the year. The Planning Board will take up the issue during its Dec. 5 meeting.

"There are some folks out there, particularly barbecue and that type thing, they want to be able to be out there every Friday and Saturday," said Planning and Zoning Director Fred Guerrant. "It's an issue we're going to have to address sooner or later, so let's go on and address it now."

Mr. Guerrant said whatever the board decides would not only apply to barbecue vendors, but also those selling anything.

That includes the ones currently in place selling shoes, flowers, sweet potatoes, watermelon and other fruit and vegetables.

The Planning and Zoning staff is currently researching the issue, he said. Mr. Guerrant also asked Planning Board members at their last meeting to pay attention to the transient businesses as they drive around McDuffie County over the next month.

"Just notice it," he told them, "because we're going to be dealing with it Dec. 5."

Mr. McNair's application is currently in process. Mr. Guerrant said the board will most probably consider setting conditions on time, setback and documentation and should make a recommendation to the County Commission during the meeting.

Richmond and Columbia counties currently allow these types of businesses throughout the year. The public is invited to attend the board meeting and share opinions on the subject.

Web posted on Thursday, November 16, 2006

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