Corning to draft ordinance regulating outdoor retail sales

Corning to draft outdoor retail sales ordinance and permit process allowing businesses to operate outdoors under certain public health, safety and aesthetic conditions. The need for a proposed ordinance cropped up due to a thrift store on Highway 99W conducting its business outdoors. Since the subject came to light, the business has greatly cleared the amount of merchandise displayed in its parking lot.


Businesses operating their retail operations outdoors, such as leaving merchandise outside even when the business is closed, was the topic of a Corning City Council discussion during the Sept. 8 meeting.

Councilman Robert Snow said he had concerns about the thrift store on Highway 99W south of Solano Street, which leaves a large portion of its merchandise outside the store at all times.

“When I asked City Hall about it, I found out there was no city ordinance concerning this issue,” he added. 

City Manager Kristina Miller explained, while the city’s outdoor dining permit parameters for restaurants to operate outside, current city codes do not provide any guidance on outdoor retail sales operations.

Snow said part of the problems with leaving merchandise out at all hours is homeless persons stealing the merchandise.

“And then we end up finding it left in the creeks, orchards and alleys. We need to control the problem before it grows,” he added.

Miller noted the problem needs to be addressed especially as “we are trying to clean up our community.”

City Council directed city staff to draft an ordinance and permit process allowing businesses to operate outdoors under certain public health, safety, and aesthetic conditions. 

Possible conditions included in the draft ordinance are outdoor retail sales may not occur daily, but allowed a certain number of days per year; all items must be brought indoors at the end of each and every operating day; and the business must maintain ADA compliance.

Mayor Doug Hatley said the city is not trying to put anyone out of business, but businesses must be conducted within reason without being a blight on the community.

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