Street vendors would have to set up shop five feet away from driveways, bus benches, and outdoor dining areas and would be banned from conducting business near certain popular venues, under proposed regulations approved Wednesday by two city council committees.
The campaign to regulate street vending has been a long debated issue in Los Angeles. The City Council decriminalized vendors selling hotdogs, ice cream, and knick-knacks earlier this year in response to increased federal immigration enforcement. Lawmakers lowered the act from a criminal charge down to a fine, so that immigrant vendors would not face potential deportation.
Regulations approved Wednesday still need to go before the full council, but the city has yet to create a permitting process, a way to collect taxes, or establish punishment for sellers who skirt the rules.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the new draft rules would limit two carts to one block per each side of the street and that mobile vendors could sell food in residential areas so long as each sale does not last more than seven minutes.
Other restrictions would require vendors to be a certain distance away from historical monuments, murals, sculptures, anywhere that blocks a window display or puts people in danger, and more. Street sales would also be banned from popular venues and tourist attractions, including Staples Center, Dodger Stadium, the Coliseum, the Hollywood Bowl and Hollywood Boulevard.
The draft rules are opposed by the L.A. Street Vendor Campaign, which claims they are excessively strict.