LA City Council seeks new limits on Hollywood Blvd. costumed characters

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The Los Angeles City Council voted to create a new safety zone on Hollywood Boulevard that would restrict costumed characters to 20 per day. (KABC)

Ironman, Darth Vader and other costumed characters who perform for tips on Hollywood Boulevard could soon see some new limits.

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to ask the city attorney's office to draft new rules requiring permits for the performers and limiting them to 20 per day.

LA has tried in the past to ban the characters from soliciting tips, but the courts have sided with the performers.

Critics say some of the performers have gotten out of control, with aggressive panhandling that intimidates tourists, in addition to fighting with each other while in costume.

Passes would be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis, with 10 for the north side of Hollywood Boulevard and 10 for the south side.

The Los Angeles Police Department, city attorney's office, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and tourism board recommended the entertainment zone to the council. Police complain that the influx of performers causes pedestrians to end up out on the street in an effort to avoid them.

But the plan has spurred concerns about free speech and impeding on the rights of the performers. Some performers also said the limitation would bring down tourism and the street's lively character. They also said the measure restricts their right to free speech.

Other areas, such as Times Square in New York City, have similar restrictions.
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societylos angeles city councillawscostumed charactersHollywoodLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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