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Utah town says no to man's Coca-Cola vending machine

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Posted at 12:32 PM, Feb 09, 2022

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah — In Saratoga Springs, Utah, a man is forced to remove one of his most prized possessions from outside his home.

Eric DeKarver is an enthusiast of all things Coca-Cola.

A Coca-Cola vending machine is located in his home’s driveway to enjoy all of his neighbors.

“I enjoy having a Coke,” DeKarver said. “It gives me joy — providing beverages for people walking by and the kids in the neighborhood.”

But the city and the local homeowner association aren’t as enthusiastic.

“They have a regulation that we couldn’t have the Coke machine because it looks trashy,” he said.

A spokesperson for Saratoga Springs city shared a copy of the city code with FOX 13 News.

Section 19.05.07 states that outdoor vending machines are prohibited in all residential zones except at HOA maintained facilities such as clubhouses, pools, and other structures.

Eric believes this is an example of government overreach.

“I feel it's my personal property, and I am on private property. I’m not trying to run a business,” he said. “You buy a home; you have property; you consider it to be yours.”

Eric says he doesn’t profit from the machine and will give drinks to people who don’t have spare change.

For Eric, this machine provides an avenue to share his passion for the iconic soft drink while spreading kindness to the community.

“I had a bunch of kids once, and they’re like, ‘do you give free drinks?’ Yeah, if you ask,” he said.

Eric plans to comply with code enforcement.

If not removed by Friday, he'll be fined $25 each day it remains in front of his home.

The city says no fines have been accrued.

Eric has listed the machine for sale on classified websites. He feels moving it to his backyard or into his garage would defeat its purpose.

John Franchi at KSTU first reported this story.