Peachy Paradise appeals
business license denial
By Rhett Wilkinson
MT. PLEASANT—The Mt. Pleasant City Council heard an appeal last week from a snow cone shack whose business license was denied by city staff because its building encroached on the city right of way.
The staff denied the license for Peachy Paradise, which is run by Julie Reese, her daughters and other teenagers, because its shack reached 4 feet into what is supposed to be a city street. The business operates two and a half months in the summer only.
“We were the only business (in Mt. Pleasant) whose license was revoked for 2021,” Reese said. She said people on the city staff told her they’ve not renewed business licenses in the past for encroachment. “But ours was the only business for 2021 to get taken away.”
“All we are asking them to do is move it 4 feet back,” Mayor Michael Olsen said at the Tuesday, Jan. 12 council meeting.
Reese said she had gathered 360 comments and 824 signatures in support of Peachy Paradise not being required to move its shack. There were 23 people at the council meeting, and it appeared about 15 of them were there to support Reese.
“Last year, they approved that exact spot for our shack…and approved us running the business there,” Reese said. “This year, they say it’s not OK.”
Reese said it is difficult for her to move her shack to comply with the code because she would need help to move the shack and her husband is away from town frequently. “I can only do so much,” she said.
Councilman Russell Keisel offered to help her.
“We are in this shack thousands of dollars, between buying it, products, bringing in gravel and tables and chairs,” Reese said. “It all added up so fast. We were hoping to recoup some of that money we already spent with this summer’s sales.”
Reese also is concerned that regardless of what they do to appease the city, it could still not renew their license next year.
“Then we are out that much more,” Reese said. “We did everything they asked last year and we still got shut down this year.”
Even though the business is not a money maker, Reese said, it teaches girls customer service and life skills. “We’re heartbroken,” she said.
Reese had at least one sympathizer on the council in Councilman Sam Draper.
“I’ve been down there with my kids,” Draper said. “Those are the things that make small towns small towns … I think the snow cone shack would be the least of my concerns.”
Councilman Kevin Stallings and members of the city staff said getting things out of the rights of way is part of a new effort to clean up the city.
Councilman Justin Atkinson said, “We need to be consistent.” He suggested there are other businesses, including a hardware store, that are encroaching on city rights of way, and all need to be treated equally.
Mayor Olsen said he would personally talk to the hardware business.
The council didn’t make a decision on whether The Peachy Paradise needs to move.