City Council advances new regulations on street vendors, homeless populations

SIGNAL FILE PHOTO: From left, Caylie Jo, 6, Cherri Torres and Noemi Torres, 5, order from the Hello Kitty Food Truck at the Westfield Valencia Town Center on Saturday. Samie Gebers/ Signal

The Santa Clarita City Council advanced new regulations on street vendors and homeless populations to a second reading during its Wednesday night meeting, moving the city closer to enacting more restrictive regulations on the two groups.  

City Council members did not give any further comment on the new proposals. However, a handful of speakers made their positions known, largely standing in support of the new proposals.   

One of the speakers during the public comment section of the meeting stated that the $30,000 additional cost to crack down on street vendors could possibly be avoided if the city adopted a texting or notification system that citizens could use to inform enforcement officers.  

Alan Ferdman called for harsher punishments, such as using law enforcement to arrest unpermitted street vendors, and clearer stipulations on the changes to the municipal code.     

“The Senate bill decriminalized this activity,” said City Manager Ken Striplin, in reference to Senate Bill 946, which limits a city’s regulation of sidewalk vending. “That is why we are working so hard around the fringes to figure out a way to be more effective in enforcing this.” 

The changes, as they pertain to street vendors, would allow the city to take the following actions and pay a contracted security services company $30,000 to patrol “hot spot” locations in Newhall and Canyon Country:   

  • Establish a list of prohibited items.  
  • Provide additional clarity on prohibited locations and/or minimum distance requirements.  
  • Limit approved vendors’ ability to establish multiple sites without approval.  
  • Establish design and dimension requirements.  
  • Limit the numbers of items sold by one vendor.  
  • Establish revocation and denial standards.  
  • Authorize the impoundment of vending equipment for up to 60 days before being discarded.   

For the homeless populations, the changes, if ultimately passed, would be as follows:   

  • Prohibit camping in hazard or very-high fire hazard severity zones.  
  • Establish minimum distance requirements to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act laws and to enhance the safety of residents and those individuals experiencing homelessness.  
  • Reduce the standard noticing requirements for abatement from 72 hours to 24 hours.  
  • Reduce the storage of personal property from 90 days to 60 days.  

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