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Sun Valley Karma Porch battles to stay open

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 11:55 PM PDT
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SUN VALLEY, Nev. (KOLO) - For nearly three years, Jennifer Elliott has been using her porch to provide donated goods to those in need.

“We don’t really have a food pantry or anything like this in the area,” explained Elliott.

Elliott collects goods from local non-profit organizations and brings them home to provide a distribution site. It is open to anyone who may be in need of help. On March 25, Elliott received a letter from Washoe County that stated neighbors have been making complaints.

Further inspection by the county also showed that her distribution center is violating the county code. Elliott said a business license is required by the county.

“I don’t consider this a business this is my hobby,” Elliott said.

Elliott posting the letter she received on Facebook. Claiming she was getting shut down. Within minutes the community started bringing attention to the matter.

“There are so many people out there in need right now, especially because of the pandemic and people have been out of work and just trying to come back up and we are here to help,” said Elliott.

Chad Giesinger, Washoe County Planning Manager said their intentions are not to shut this down. The issue is reports of people arriving at all hours of the day and night and unexpected visitors. County officials making sure proper codes are followed.

“The issue is the advertising that is drawing people from all over and the lack of the parameters around the service that is being provided,” Giesinger said.

Giesinger said one of the options for Elliot to continue with this project is to get a temporary events license. This would mean having designated days throughout the year within a certain time frame to provide her service.

“It is really the uncertainty that is happening that is concerning to the neighbors,” Giesinger said. “I don’t think they are against the charitable efforts, neither is the county obviously, it’s just how it is being conducted.”

Giesinger said the county is planning on assisting Elliott financially to help continue her efforts.

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