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Workshop held to break down new San Diego sidewalk vendor ordinance

Ordinance could go into effect on June 17
Posted at 6:57 AM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 09:57:47-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – San Diego city officials, community advocates and sidewalk vendors gathered at the Logan Heights Library Tuesday for a community workshop regarding the new sidewalk vendor ordinance set to go into effect in the coming weeks.

“I hear different rumors all the time of what you can do, what you cannot do, when it’s going to stop,” said sidewalk vendor Fawn Pham.

“That’s the reason why I came here now is because I don’t even know how to legally set up my business and how can I put my business display up legally in what way. What are the exact places I can use it?” sidewalk vendor Zishan Raja added.

The community workshop held Tuesday was one of three aimed at helping San Diegans learn about the rules and regulations of the ordinance.

“There’s a lot of vague areas. Another one is it say no high traffic areas. But how do I determine that as a vendor? What’s high traffic? Maybe one area is low traffic one day or high traffic another day? So, it becomes quite confusing,” Raja said.

Advocates and city officials like Elizabeth Studebaker hope this workshop and other efforts can layout and clarify any concerns people have with it.

“With respect to the proactive education about where you can vend, what we are doing right now is sorting out the specific language in the ordinance to then better articulate where we want everyone to vend,” said Studebaker, who is with the City of San Diego's Economic Development Department.

Some vendors say they see the reasoning behind having these kinds of rules on the books.

“There’s got to be some kind of rules and health in place because you don’t just anybody go out there and sell. What if people get sick?” Pham said.

As public outreach continues, Studebaker says this is the first year of the ordinance and adjustments can be made in the future.

“As I understand it correctly, this year is a bit of a trial run. We have to see how things work out, see what are the opportunities are for vendors to continue making a good living and livelihood for themselves and their families. And that the city council is going to revisit some of the regulations in the next year or so,” Studebaker said.

Community advocates are stating that the sidewalk vendor ordinance could go into effect at the earliest on June 17.