Street vendors claim victory against Atlanta program - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Street vendors claim victory against Atlanta program

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ATLANTA -

A judge has ruled in favor of a street vendor who protested a city of Atlanta program that required him to pay rent in order to have a stand on a public sidewalk.

The city program aimed to do away with free-standing cars and require all vendors to rent a kiosk which would be controlled by a large company.

Larry Miller is one of two vendors who sued City Hall.

"It was a sharecropper deal and it just didn't go through. Basically, they wanted to take my business, put it inside of a kiosk and rent it back to me and I just couldn't see that," said Miller.

The plaintiffs won as the judge raised questions about Atlanta's decision to turn over the public sidewalks to a private firm, which would be akin to allowing the firm to earn public space.

Some business owners said that some of the vendors' carts were not attractive.

"Well, I'd like to see some improvement on public property. I mean, we're not without fault," said Miller.  

The judge also tossed out the program. The next step will likely take place in the City Council committee of Michael Bond.

"I think we need to return to our previous ordinance and begin to manage the program in-house," said Bond.

The city attorney has not made a decision yet on how to respond to the judge's order.

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