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New Ordinance to Regulate Sidewalk Vending Being Prepared In Culver City

The City Takes Steps to Comply With California State Law and Updates Regulations for Sidewalk Vendors

By Dolores Quintana

Culver City, California – In response to the 2018 change in California state law decriminalizing sidewalk vending, the Culver City Municipal Code is undergoing revisions to align with the new legislation. The City staff has drafted a new ordinance that regulates sidewalk vending while considering objective health, safety, and welfare concerns.

Sidewalk vending refers to the sale of food items and merchandise on sidewalks and pathways using non-motorized transportation modes such as carts. Culver City already has a diverse range of sidewalk vendors offering products like ice cream, cut-up fruit, juice, and flowers.

To update the Culver City Municipal Code, City staff presented the proposed ordinance to the City Council on February 13, 2023. Following approval for introduction, the staff was directed to delay enforcement for 60 days after the second reading and adoption of the ordinance. The date for the ordinance adoption is yet to be determined.

The proposed ordinance includes general regulations for sidewalk vendors, which require obtaining a City of Culver City Business License permit, a State of California Department of Tax Fee Administration Sellers Permit, and a County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health Permit for food vendors. Stationary sidewalk vendors will be limited to sidewalks or pathways that are at least eight feet wide and located outside residential areas.

To ensure pedestrian safety, sidewalk vendors must provide four feet of clearance for pedestrians to walk past. They are not permitted on bike paths, certain trails, or public property that does not meet the definition of a sidewalk. Additionally, sidewalk vending is prohibited in residential neighborhoods or near schools between 8:00 PM and 9:00 AM.

City staff is currently notifying sidewalk vendors and the community about the proposed Sidewalk Vending Ordinance. If individuals wish to provide comments or receive notification of the City Council meeting for the adoption of the ordinance, they can contact the City Manager’s Office via email at city.manager@culvercity.org or call (310) 253-6000.

The City of Culver City aims to strike a balance between complying with state law and addressing the concerns associated with sidewalk vending while ensuring a vibrant and inclusive community for all residents and visitors.

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