Denver Allows Pumpkin Sales, But Not Christmas Trees

With the struggling economy, many Denver churches are looking for new ways to raise money.

Ubiquitous pumpkin patches in church parking lots are one example.

But some churches want to know why, if they can sell pumpkins, they can’t sell Christmas trees.

City legal analysts said it’s a gray area in the city ordinances because of zoning issues.

At Calvary Temple, the pumpkin profits help pay for children’s programs, and after a decade of selling during the fall, the church decided to try out Christmas trees in the winter.

But Pastor Todd Walker said a city inspector told them they needed a permit to sell trees because the church is in a residential area.

Denver Council member Charlie Brown is proposing a clarification that would allow occasional church sales.

“Pumpkins were classified as agricultural, therefore they could sell them. Christmas trees were not. This is the silliness of the ordinance,” said Brown. “If they’re allowed to sell pumpkins now, why should they not be allowed to sell Christmas trees? I mean, there is kind of a connection there.”

In the Mayor-Council meeting Tuesday, though, some City Council members expressed concern that the proposal is too broad and would invite too many sales in residential areas.

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