LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- The City Council Wednesday approved a motion calling for the development of a special vending zone, effectively allowing street vendors to sell their goods in areas of Hollywood, which they're currently barred from doing under city law.
Council members voted 12-0 to request the city attorney prepare and present an ordinance amending the city's street vending law to comply with state regulations.
Relative city departments will work to create objective criteria, compliant with state law, to limit street vending in certain zones, and report back on the recommendations in 60 days.
Additionally, city departments will work in collaboration with the City Attorney's Office, the offices of the Fourth and 13th districts, street vendors, street vending advocates and community stakeholders to establish the pilot program for a Special Vending Zone covering Hollywood Boulevard, the Hollywood Bowl and the nearby area.
While the council approved the matter without any discussion, after the vote, council members Hugo Soto-Martinez, Eunissess Hernandez and Imelda Padilla addressed several street vendors who were in attendance, thanking them for guiding the work on this issue. Padilla said a lot of work remains to be done to ensure street vendors can prosper in the city.
The Civil Rights, Equity, Immigration, Aging and Disability Committee passed the motion on Nov. 3.
According to Soto-Martinez's office, the goal of the motion is intended to use lessons learned from the pilot program to develop a citywide framework for allowing street vending in a more equitable way.
The city's Sidewalk Vending Ordinance excludes vendors from nine areas representing some of its most popular pedestrian areas, such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame and LA Live.
In December 2022, three community groups -- Community Power Collective, East LA Community Corporation, and Inclusive Action for the City -- and their attorneys, on behalf of sidewalk vendors, filed a lawsuit challenging the city's street vending law, stating violations against SB 946, a 2018 state law legalizing street vending.
On Oct. 20, a joint statement from the three community groups suing the city stated, "We appreciate the support of the council members authorizing this motion, as well as express acknowledgement that the city must bring its ordinance into legal compliance.''
However, the statement also said the motion failed to fully address the harms done to street vendors over the course of the last five years.
"But this motion does not actually propose to eliminate the unlawful 'No Vending Zones,' and it risks repeating the process that resulted in the illegal restrictions in the first place. The motion does not immediately end the city's unjust exclusion of vendors from entire neighborhoods, nor does it address the deep financial, emotional and psychological harms experienced by vendors from years of draconian enforcement of these unlawful and exclusionary policies,'' according to the joint statement.
The statement added, "We continue to welcome a conversation with the city that centers the voices and experiences of vendors, but we are not deterred from pursuing our strong legal claims and are confident that we will prevail in court if necessary.''
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