Our policy proposal was developed by street vendors, for street vendors.

read the boring legal version here.

A citywide permit system.

  • Vendors should be given an opportunity to apply for and obtain a permit to legally vend on sidewalks and in parks in the City of Los Angeles.
  • Permits should be granted for food vending and merchandise vending.
  • The permitting process should be inclusive and easy to navigate.
  • Permits should be granted to all applicants who comply with application requirements.
  • A state sellers permit, business tax registration and liability insurance should be required.
  • Vending permits should include reasonable permit fees, with lower or waived permit and renewal fees for veterans and healthy food vendors.


Common sense restrictions on when, where and how vending happens.

  • The Sidewalk Vending Ordinance should not create designated vending zones or districts. Instead, the ordinance should impose reasonable rules to limit the over-concentration of vending operations in any one area, without unnecessarily restricting the flexibility of vendors to respond to changing markets or undermining the inherent mobile characteristics of the trade.
  • Vendors should be prohibited from blocking access to residences and businesses; vending should not impede pedestrian passage and should maintain at least 5 feet of clear sidewalk space at all times; vending should be prohibited within 500 feet of schools (except for healthy food vending); and vending should not be allowed on any part of the public right-of-way that is improved with flowers, plants or decorative landscaping.
  • Merchandise vendors should be prohibited from selling pirated or counterfeit merchandise.
  • Hours of operation should be from 5 am to 3 am. 


Permitting requirements to protect health and safety.

  • All food vendors will need a valid Los Angeles County Health Permit and proof of commissary usage at the time of application with the City.
  • Food vendors should be required to comply with all equipment certification requirements of the California Food Retail Code. Merchandise vending operations should not exceed 4 feet x 8 feet.
  • The Sidewalk Vending Ordinance should require that vendors provide a trash receptacle for the use of customers and should require vendors to pick up and dispose of any trash or litter left by customers before leaving the vending location.


Create Healthy Food Cart Designation with Incentives

  • Vendors should be encouraged to sell fresh fruit, produce, water and healthy snacks.
  • “Healthy Food Vendors” should be granted incentives such as reduced permit fees, special access to events sponsored by the City, and exclusive preferential vending areas, such as locations closer to schools, in front of hospitals, and in designated Healthy Food Corners.


Technical Assistance, Education & Outreach

  • In the long run, the City could offset the cost of enforcement with an upfront investment in education and outreach.
  • The City can work with community-based organizations to provide technical assistance, education, financial support and other capacity building services to vendors.


Responsible and humane enforcement.

  • The Sidewalk Vending Ordinance should include a tiered compliance regime, with a warning for a first violation, followed by a “fix-it-ticket,” and reasonable fines for subsequent violations.
  • Violations should be treated either as a warning or as an infraction. No violation should result in a misdemeanor or be subject to the Administrative Citation Enforcement (ACE) program.
  • Suspension of a permit should occur only after 4 violations in one year, with an opportunity to appeal.
  • The Sidewalk Vending Ordinance ought to include a phased-in enforcement program to accommodate a period of public education about the new regulations and requirements. 

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