This week, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to adopt two ordinances, and a motion, to recognize and support sidewalk vending as a valid business operation while establishing protocols to ensure public health, safety, and welfare.
By News Desk
With Senate Bills 946 and 972 signed into law, parameters were established for the local regulation of sidewalk vendors, while the California Retail Food Code was modernized to reduce barriers to sidewalk vending.
One ordinance from the Department of Public Health makes changes to the County Code pursuant to SB 972, creating a new standard for compact mobile food operations (CMFO) Countywide, other than Pasadena, Long Beach, and Vernon which have their own public health departments. CMFOs are mobile food facilities that operate from an individual or a pushcart stand, display, pedal-driven cart, wagon, showcase, rack, or other nonmotorized conveyance.
It also establishes needed health permit fees for CMFOs to come into compliance, varying depending on the type of food sold. Fees range from $309 for low-risk vendors using prepackaged food to $1,186 for high-risk vendors that prepare and sell hot food such as tacos and hot dogs. After the first year, ongoing fees range between $226 and $1,001.
The other ordinance, led by the Department of Economic Opportunity, establishes the parameters of where, when, and how to vend in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. The ordinance adds a registration fee of $604 for the regulatory costs of issuing a Sidewalk Vending Registration Certificate.
This will be subsidized by the Department of Economic Opportunity to $0 in the program’s first year and an anticipated cost of $100 in subsequent years.
“Across my district, in vending hubs like East Los Angeles, and increasingly across the San Gabriel Valley, sidewalk vendors are becoming an ever-increasing presence, providing access to food spanning diverse cultures,” said Supervisor Hilda Solis. “Moreover, for many low-income and immigrant communities, this represents one of the few paths to financial independence and economic stability. To that end, we must do all we can to educate, empower, and encourage these vendors to come into the formal and regulated economy. However, we know this will not happen if the financial barriers to entry remain too high.”
In an effort to help subsidize the Department of Public Health permit fees, the Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Solis which allows low-income vendors, living in or selling in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, to be eligible for a 75% subsidy towards their fees. As long as they make less than $50,000 annually in net revenue, are first-time applicants, and complete a Department of Economic Opportunity-led bi-monthly workshop in each Supervisorial District, vendors will see hundreds of dollars off their registration fee waived.
We hope you appreciated this article. Before you move on, please consider supporting the Colorado Boulevard’s journalism.
Billionaires, hedge fund owners and local imposters have a powerful hold on the information that reaches the public. Colorado Boulevard stands to serve the public interest – not profit motives.
While fairness guides everything we do, we know there is a right and a wrong position in the fight against racism and climate crisis while supporting reproductive rights and social justice. We provide a fresh perspective on local politics – one so often missing from so-called ‘local’ journalism.
You can access Colorado Boulevard’s paywall-free journalism because of our unique reader-supported model. People like you, informed readers, keep us independent, beholden to no outside influence, and accessible to everyone.
Please consider supporting Colorado Boulevard today. Thank you. (Click to Support)