Welcome to the latest edition of Vallejo Rising - our ongoing series highlighting projects that are designed to reinvigorate the city of Vallejo.
Visualize this scene:
It’s a great day to be outdoors . The water is glistening and sailboats in the Mare Island Channel are taking advantage of some fresh winds. Vallejo waterfront visitors linger at some vendor booths that line the walkway leading up to the Ferry Terminal.
It’s a scene that many Vallejoans think could bring more traffic to this iconic part of downtown Vallejo. In fact some city employees have been thinking along these lines for some time. Recently Vallejo’s Planning Division department partnered with the Economic Development Division and designed a new vendor permit process that they hope will get small businesses to think ‘Vallejo Waterfront’ when they envision where they want to set down stakes.
Planning Department Permit Technician James Cisney points to the ever-popular tradition of open-air markets around the world as proof that these outside markets are not just a passing trend. People love to be around other people, he says. Add to that experience the element of safety, a convivial ambiance and appropriate products and you have ingredients for a people-drawing atmosphere.
While the city has attempted to make the permit approval process as streamlined as possible, potential vendors should note that they can save time by thinking through their business plan in advance of applying for the permit. The permit application can be downloaded from the city of Vallejo website. Vendors are encouraged to meet with the Planning Department in advance of submitting their applications. While the online vendor application checklist mentions a variety of documents that the city, based on the type of vendor business, may require, Cisney urges vendor candidates to visit the Planning Department in the early stages of their business plan so that Planning staff can help potential vendors fast-track their approval process.
"They don’t need to bring in all their licenses in the beginning", says Cisney, "and obviously we won’t need a health certificate for non-food vendors. Actually we don’t even recommend getting the business license till their vendor application has been approved by us. The same is true for the proof of insurance. After we approve their application they will need these documents. In the final step approved vendors then apply for their City license (essentially a lease) which then completes our permit process."