Los Angeles officials are well on their way to legalizing street vending—a practice effectively prohibited under current city law.
Street vendors are a common sight in neighborhoods around LA, but the city has no legal framework regulating the practice.
The city council’s Economic Development Committee signed off on Wednesday on a new set of rules for street vendors that would allow them to function more like brick and mortar businesses. But, as the Los Angeles Times points out, there would be a few places where vending would still be off limits.
Specifically, sellers would not be allowed to hawk their wares within close proximity to popular entertainment venues like Dodger Stadium, the Staples Center, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Also off limits: the area around Hollywood Boulevard.
Chief Legislative Analyst Sharon Tso tells Curbed the ban likely wouldn’t affect the entire length of Hollywood Boulevard, and that specific areas where vending would be off limits will have to be ironed out going forward.
The ban in these spots would only extend 500 feet, so it would still be possible to grab that last minute $1 water bottle on the way to a show at the Hollywood Bowl. But the new regulations could remove street vendors from the busy Hollywood Walk of Fame—a place where sidewalk sales are now ubiquitous.
A staff report on the new regulations suggests that these locations, which all draw large crowds, would be unsuitable for street vending because of public safety concerns.
“Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame are unique areas that must be treated sensibly,” Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president Leron Gubler told the committee, pointing out that vendors in the past have set up shop atop the street’s famous sidewalk stars, blocking them from the view of visitors.
So far, only a few specific locations are being considered as spots where vending would be prohibited, but more sites could be blocked off in the future at the request of the city council or the Board of Public Works. Residents and business owners would also be able to petition the council to ban vending on certain streets.
Councilmember David Ryu suggested Wednesday that the area around Universal Studios might also be added to the no-vending list in the future.