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Sidewalk vendors have mixed emotions about new ordinance

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Posted at 5:11 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 03:10:37-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — In June, street vendors will have new regulations to follow while operating their small businesses as a result of San Diego City Council passing an ordinance in March.

One of the regulations is obtaining a permit to operate. The San Diego City Council voted to make the permit fee $38 for the first year and then the council will review the fee next year.

San Diego City Council approves sidewalk vendor ordinance

Some of the vendors ABC 10News spoke to say the new ordinance is a good thing while others say it's not. All had questions about the new regulations they face.

Bezaleel has been drawing caricatures of people for two years.

"It's fun ya know?" he said.

The city council passed an ordinance telling vendors they will need to pay for a permit to sell, can only operate in specific zones, and will only be able to sell at certain times.

"The way the ordinance has been worked out. It's a win-win situation. It's a win for the vendors. It's a win for the city and it's a win to keep our parks and our cities open to all," said Councilmember Jennifer Campbell, District 2. " There's a whole educational process as well as licensing, paying tax-having their state license, etc."

Bezaleel said he likes the ordinance because it gives an order.

"I gotta obey the laws of the land. So if that's what they want to get and if I have to get that then I guess I'm going to get it," he said.

There are consequences for vendors who violate the new rule--

Those without a permit could face a fine of up to $1,000 and even have their equipment impounded.

The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium said it questions the underlying motivation and intent of the ordinance.

The group asked why it was going to cost millions of dollars to enforce the new ordinance.

In the preliminary city budget, more than $7 million will be needed to carry out the ordinance.

The $2.3 million is allotted for impounding and storing violators' equipment

"When we see that a big part of the budget is actually going towards enforcement. Not only enforcement but in the confiscation of equipment, we believe that this is going to negatively affect predominantly people of color," said Ian Seruelo.

The ordinance takes effect on June 1.