After receiving complaints from downtown residents and businesses, the Annapolis City Council is considering a limit on the number of festivals allowed.
At a hearing on the bill on Monday, some merchants and residents praised the proposal. Jeff Schaub, who owns Annapolis Marine Art Gallery on Dock Street, said special events at City Dock have hurt his sales.
“The soul of business downtown is its independent businessmen, who have their families, their life savings, everything invested,” Schaub said.
Business owners had complained in the past about food vendors creating unfair competition for brick-and-mortar restaurants in the Dock Street area.
Others, however, raised concerns about existing events. Tom DeKornfeld of Annapolis Striders expressed concern about foot races.
“We have two specialty running stores downtown,” he said. “The reason we have those stores downtown and that they’re able to survive is because we have the runners.”
The Capital of Annapolis reports that the proposal says any event that includes 100 or more people would be considered a special event. A major special event could close roads and use 10 or more parking specials.
Under the bill, only one major special event would be allowed at City Dock per month, except for two in September and October. Mass participation sporting events such as triathlons and bicycle races would be limited to four per year at City Dock.
The proposals will be reviewed in committees before returning to the council for a vote.