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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Some local businesses say the City of Wilmington cost them some valuable foot traffic after shutting down the Peddler Flea Market on Castle Street.

The city shut the market down last month when it realized the market violated city ordinance. Now neighboring businesses are worried about their losing their own profits.

Three years ago Michael Moore created the Peddler Flea Market on the open property across from his Castle Street antique shop.

“Why not put it to a good use rather than it be a vacant lot that breeds potato chip bags and beer bottles?” Moore said.

Moore says the market has a little something for everyone..

“Neighbors come and shop here,” he said.
“We have produce, homemade soaps, handmade jewelry.”

But when one of his food vendors recently submitted a health permit, the city realized Moore was violating a mixed use ordinance.

“They will only let us have it every 45 days,” Moore said. “Forty-five days doesn’t add up to a consistent schedule.”

Kelli Benton works nearby and shops regularly at the market. She says it never did any damage.

“People have complained that it is gone. No one complained when it was here,” she said.

She says neighboring businesses profited from the foot traffic.

“It helped local people make some money, so it’s like a win-win for everyone,” Benton said.

That is why Moore says the ordinance needs to be changed.

“It needs to be fixed for the time,” he said. “Times are different now. People are doing recycling and refurbishing and repurposing things.”

City Council discussed the ordinance at an agenda briefing this morning, but members said they want to hear more from the public before their next meeting in September.

Moore says City Council has been very supportive of everything he has done. That’s why he believes they will be able to fix this.

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