The Los Angeles County Department of Economic Opportunity is holding listening sessions for anyone interested in learning more or providing input about the upcoming proposed sidewalk vending ordinance for unincorporated areas of the county.
According to the DEO website, the county is “considering a new law that will allow residents to legally operate a sidewalk vending operation in the public right of way in the unincorporated areas of the county.”
Listening sessions in English are scheduled to be held on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Magic Johnson Park, located at 905 E. El Segundo Blvd. in Los Angeles, and Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Altadena Library, located at 600 E. Mariposa Street in Altadena. Sessions in Spanish are scheduled for Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. at the Lancaster Library, located at 601 W. Lancaster Blvd. in Lancaster, and Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Magic Johnson Park.
Those who cannot attend those sessions can attend a virtual session on Thursday at 11 a.m. in Spanish and at 6 p.m. in English.
The link to register for a session can be found here: tinyurl.com/mrytcd38.
According to the DEO, sidewalk vending was decriminalized in California in 2019 with the Safe Sidewalk Vending Act (Senate Bill 946). The bill, signed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown in September 2018, “allows local authorities to adopt non-criminal laws to protect public health, safety and welfare,” the DEO’s website reads.
The bill covers any vendor who “sells food or merchandise on a sidewalk or pedestrian path,” according to the DEO, and does not apply to food trucks or motorized vendors.
In September 2022, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 972, which modifies the California Retail Food Code to include sidewalk vendors. The bill, which establishes vendors as “compact mobile food operations,” was “intended to promote economic inclusion while modernizing the CRFC so that sidewalk food vendors can obtain a permit and join the regulated vending economy,” according to the DEO.
According to Kelly LoBianco, the director of the DEO, the proposed county ordinance would essentially be codifying the state law. She added that the drafted ordinance is set to be sent to the county Board of Supervisors on Thursday and a presentation is scheduled to be held at the board’s meeting on Dec. 12.
The board would then vote on adopting the ordinance, likely in January, LoBianco said.
The city of Santa Clarita already has an ordinance in place for sidewalk vendors. Under Chapter 11.37 of the city’s Municipal Code, “No person may peddle, sidewalk vend, or solicit unless such person has a valid peddler’s or solicitor’s license, as applicable, issued by the county of Los Angeles treasurer and tax collector on behalf of the city.” The ordinance goes to on to say that sidewalk vendors must obtain a valid vending permit from the city and a health permit from the county before operating.
In July, the city filed a lawsuit against Tacos Jacky seeking an injunction to cease operations after the sidewalk vendor was found to be “within the public right-of-way at various locations throughout Santa Clarita,” according to a news release from the city.
Tacos Jacky, according to the release, had been operating without a valid peddler’s license, health permit or sidewalk vending permit since 2019 and was observed at 74 separate site inspections to be “operating with dangerous food safety conditions which posed an immediate health and safety threat to the residents of Santa Clarita.” The business accrued more than $17,000 in unpaid fines, according to the release.
Other cities in the county that have adopted ordinances regarding sidewalk vending include: Los Angeles; Beverly Hills; Calabasas; El Monte; Monrovia; Norwalk; Pasadena; South Pasadena; Pico Rivera; South Gate; Palmdale; Huntington Park; West Covina; Lynwood; and Monterey Park.