T-shirt shops in the French Quarter have become all too common. A city councilwoman says many owners shouldn't be operating at all.
"About two years ago I wrote an ordinance that was a moratorium on T-Shirt shops. Since then we've had other T-shirt shops open up with very little enforcement," said Kristen Palmer who represents the French Quarter.
One shop at 301 Decatur opened as a family clothing store just before the Super Bowl.
"There was an ordinance against T-shirts? I did not know about it," said Mohammed Hamideh the store's owner.
Meg Lousteau is director of the Vieux Carre Property Owners, Residents, and Associates.
"What happens frequently is a place opens up as a different kind of business, retail clothing and some other type of committed use, and gradually they morph into T-shirt shops," she said.
Lousteau's group compiled a list of possible violators. More than 30 on Decatur and at least 17 shops on Bourbon.
"While we were visiting 301 Decatur, a Safety and Permits officer paid a visit, and made a phone call to Hamideh.
"She said you're not allowed to sell T-shirts. You're a family clothing store," he said repeating the officer's words.
"What does she mean by clothing? A T-shirt is not clothing?"
Palmer says there are many shops operating illegally and urges continued enforcement.