Framework Approved for a Legal Street Vending System in Los Angeles
The City’s Economic Development Committee Approved an Outline for an upcoming Policy that Highlights a Robust and Multi-Department Process to Permit, Regulate and Secure Street Vending in the City
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Economic Development Committee approved a framework Tuesday for city-wide street vending regulations in Los Angeles, moving the long awaited policy goal one step further. The framework outlines the tasks and responsibilities that will be handled by several City department, including the Department of Public Works, the Bureau of Street Services, the Los Angeles Police Department the Economic Workforce Development Department to develop, manage and implement a city-wide vending regulation system. In the coming months, these departments will report back in detail on specific requirements for location and hours of operation, how to obtain permits, and enforcement strategies, among other details.
The action comes as a result of a motion, co-authored by Councilmembers Curren Price and Jose Huizar, which called for a review of existing street vending regulations. Currently, Los Angeles has a ban on sidewalk food and retail vending programs. However, street vending programs are being operated successfully in the nation’s major urban cities including New York, Portland and Chicago.
“Los Angeles is the second largest city in the Nation – and as far as I’m concerned the best city in the country,” said Councilman Curren Price. “It is time that we bring some structure and regulation to street vending. I firmly believe that creating a system for street vending will help micro-entrepreneurs thrive, it will help bring more diverse foods to communities like the one I represent that have lacked options for decades, and it will ensure that products being sold are safe for consumption and meet our public health and safety standards.”
“Today is about taking an important step forward in fixing what is currently a broken system,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “By creating a legal pathway for sidewalk food vending that supports local vending and brick and mortar entrepreneurs, adds much-needed dollars to our local economy and offers safe and regulated food access to the public, we are working on a model that all sides can get behind. As we craft this major policy shift, on-going public discussion and input will continue to be critical to its implementation.”
According to the City’s Chief Legislative Analyst, Los Angeles is believed to have some 50,000 thousand street vendors operating throughout the city, in an unregulated environment and an underground marketplace. The lack of a balanced and accessible regulatory framework governing street food vending has put consumers in potential health risks and forced operators to do business in an uncertain and risky work environment that has often led to steep fines and even jail time for some vendors. City Departments will report back to the Economic Development Committee in the Spring of next year.