The Coastal Zone of the city, which encompasses Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, La Jolla, and Sorrento Valley, saw the implementation of the ordinance.
SAN DIEGO — Following a similar enforcement step-up in the Gaslamp Quarter in December, law enforcement officials in San Diego will start strictly enforcing the city’s Sidewalk Vending Ordinance in beach areas on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Following certification by the California Coastal Commission and the San Diego City Council, the ordinance became effective in January in the city’s Coastal Overlay Zone, which encompasses Point Loma, Ocean, Mission, and Pacific beaches, La Jolla, and Sorrento Valley.
When the law was enacted in 2022, Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell commented, “San Diego has long anticipated new restrictions that would bring vendors into the official economy and ensure access to San Diego’s public areas for all.” Campbell advanced the measure while representing several of the city’s seaside areas in District 2.
Not everybody, though, is on board. Vendors claimed that the crackdown is hurting their sales.
According to vendor CC Covello, who believes the new legislation is unjust, “technically, it’s no money in my pocket. I’m not able to sell, I’m not able to display my things.”
Another vendor named Scott continued, “It really affects my capacity to exist because if I can’t work, I can’t put food on the table.
City park rangers have been providing vendors with educational materials for the past few weeks to explain how they can conduct business lawfully in and around coastal communities. Depending on the quantity and nature of the offences, vendors operating unlawfully may be issued a citation and punished with fines that range from $200 to $1,000. Moreover, products, equipment, and carts might all be seized.
At parks and beaches all across San Diego, rangers are in charge of monitoring sidewalk vending.
The ordinance was approved by the City Council in May 2022, making San Diego compliant with SB 946, a California law that decriminalized sidewalk vending throughout the state and established guidelines for how localities might enact regulations.
San Diego requires vendors and pushcart owners to get an annual permit for $38 in order to sell their goods. The revised permit charge was initially recommended by city staff to be as high as $230 per establishment. Even yet, discussions in the council chamber brought that figure down to the same level as a city business tax certificate. City staff will publish an analysis after the first year of implementation to assess any fee changes.
A San Diego County Health Permit and a Food Handlers Card are additional requirements for food vendors.
More than 500 sidewalk vending permits have been granted to local vendors offering jewelry, clothing, apparel, artisan goods, home décor, candles, fine art collectibles, novelty items, food products, and other items since the policy was enacted into law last year.
The ordinance also places limitations on where vendors can set up shop, including distances of 15 feet between vendors, 50 feet from major transportation hubs, and 100 feet from any sidewalk or street closure.