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York City Passes Ordinance: No Vending Machines

York, Pennsylvania is a small city. For vending machine companies, York had better be on the front of their minds. This small city could mean big problems for vending machine companies across the U.S. Vending machines in schools may be next.

Last year, the city passed a new ordinance, set to go into effect soon. The ordinance bans vending machines on public right-of-ways and sidewalks. Advocates see this as another way to cut down on vandalism and littering throughout the city. Those in opposition see the ordinance as a direct attack against their livelihood.

One local business owner has a car-wash facility. He has three vending machines. Two sell car-wash products and the third is a pop machine. All three machines are enclosed in a building. His machines do not violate the ordinance yet he got a letter. He was one of 80 businesses that got a letter. He was one of six who took the complaint before the city council. 

Each letter stated the business owner is in violation of the city ordinance. A 30 day notice required compliance or the city would file a civil suit against the business owner.

The council’s president remarked opportunities were available for business owners and citizens to voice complaints and concerns. It is not evident any came out to speak their minds on the subject.

A snack and pop machine business, American Music Machine Vending has many machines across the city. All vending machines sit on private property. There is a pop machine outside the main office. The company got a cease-and-desist letter as well.

Many in York use the profit from the vending machines to pay property taxes or at least a portion of the taxes.

Currently, this issue may be only in York. Vending machine companies need to take a long hard look at this ordinance. Schools and school boards should also look carefully at this ordinance.

Vending machines in schools provide the school with revenue. This particular ordinance can apply to schools. Schools are public places.

Members of the York council have promised to research into grandfathering existing machines. There was nothing directly stated about vending machines in schools in York.