L.A. Shops Would Get Voice, Not Veto, In Sidewalk Vending

By Emily Alpert Reyes
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A revised proposal, unveiled at an L.A council committee meeting Monday, was an attempt at a compromise between shops and street vendors. Shops would not be able to simply prohibit vending on the adjacent sidewalks, but property owners would be alerted when sidewalk sellers seek permits to do business outside their doors. The shop owners would then have a chance to lodge an appeal.

Los Angeles Times

Brick-and-mortar businesses in Los Angeles would get a chance to oppose vendors planning to set up shop on adjacent sidewalks but would not be able to turn them down outright under a revised proposal for new regulations approved Tuesday at City Hall.

As L.A. crafts rules to legalize and regulate the vendors who hawk ice cream, hot dogs and other food and goods on its sidewalks, business groups have pushed for property owners to be able to decide whether vending can happen outside their doors.

Shopkeepers have argued that sidewalk vendors can undercut their business and that they have blocked and sullied nearby walkways.

Street vendors and their advocates countered that it would be unfair to give shops that kind of veto power over other entrepreneurs.

The ACLU of Southern California, the National Immigration Law Center and other groups said in a letter that the idea raised “grave legal and constitutional concerns” and could ramp up the risk of extortion.

The revised proposal, unveiled at a council committee meeting Monday, was an attempt at a compromise.
Shops would not be able to simply prohibit vending on the adjacent sidewalks, but property owners would be alerted when sidewalk sellers seek permits to do business outside their doors. They would then have a chance to lodge an appeal.

The exact details of the process still have to be worked out by city staffers, but Councilman Curren Price proposed something similar to the city system for permitting sidewalk dining.

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