Food Vendor Sets up by Library, Blocks Sidewalk

A food vendor, without a license, has set up on the sidewalk in front of the library, limiting access. Photo: RICH SCHMITT/CTN

A new street vendor selling tacos set up on the sidewalk in front of the Palisades Library. That sidewalk is highly utilized and as one resident wrote: “My wife and I had to form a single line to get through. This photo shows three mothers pushing strollers who had to form a single line to pass by.”

CTN stopped by today at 4 p.m. and asked to see the food license or a vending permit. The three people at the stand were unable to produce one.

There are several actions that residents can take, the first is to NEVER patronize the stand in front of the library (or Ralphs).

There are brick and mortar stores that pay taxes and fees that support Los Angeles. Food stands do not pay the newly-required minimum wage for fast food places. They do not fill out W9s, they do not pay business taxes, which allows the city to operate.

On September 17, 2018, former Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 946, also known as the Safe Sidewalk Vending Act. This law decriminalizes sidewalk vending in California and allows local authorities to adopt non-criminal laws. State Senator Ben Allen voted in favor of the bill when it passed in August 2018.

L.A. County Supervisors then passed ordinances to regulate vendors, establishing fees that the County would subsidize.

For a vendor to obtain a health permit it would be from $508 to $1,186, but Supervisor Hildis Solis introduced a motion that largely subsidizes those fees for low-income vendors, who could have as much as 75% of the health-permit cost covered.

Another ordinance would prohibit vendors from connecting to public utilities, such as water and power sources. Vendors would also have to register with the county and pay $604 – but that fee would also be subsidized with taxpayer dollars.

This stand in front of the library is in violation of access on a public sidewalk because a caretaker walking next to a disabled individual would not be able to get through. People walking and meeting an oncoming stroller are forced onto the street.

Residents can Call 311, and tell them there is not sufficient access for the public on this sidewalk.

Several private schools use the park for physical education and have to walk by the hot grill and food on the sidewalk.

City restaurants, that pay tax, are routinely inspected and are required to have a rating in their window, A, B, C.

Call the L.A. County Department of Public Health and ask them to inspect the food preparation site for this vendor. No one wants to end up with food poisoning because of inadequate safety precautions or lack of handwashing. (County general telephone number: 888-700-9995.)

Since Pacific Palisades is in a very high fire hazard severity zone and homeowners’ insurance is being cancelled here, cooking on the sidewalk should be highly regulated.

Call Senator Ben Allen (310-414-8190 or, Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (805-370-0542, and L.A. County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath (213-974-3333 and explain that although you understand they want to help people they are actually hurting local businesses that are paying taxes.

When asked if they had a license/permit for the grilling, they said no.

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7 Responses to Food Vendor Sets up by Library, Blocks Sidewalk

  1. Concerned Resident says:

    Thank you for covering this story. Everyone should be aware that a food vendor like this cooking hot food beneath a canopy with propane tanks, griddles, etc is almost always illegal—because there are multiple fire code violations, and for many other safety reasons they are almost never operating under permit by the health department. These types of vendors also are distinct from food trucks (such as Gracias Senor) which ARE often legal and use a commissary for safe food preparation and storage.
    Please contact our local fire station 69 and ask them to enforce our fire codes, which prohibit this kind of public cooking, particularly in a high fire severity zone. I have seen this vendor set up regardless of wind or other conditions which make the use of open flames particularly dangerous.

  2. Steve says:

    You can also fill out a service request using the 311 app. I just submitted a request. It would be good if other resident did the same.

    There’s a selection for Street vending and also another selection for obstruction. I would suggest fill out both.

  3. Jim McCashin II says:

    Good job, calling attention to this. Thanks for the contact information.

  4. Cindy Simon says:

    Good work Sue. The customers of the Taco stand also park in the Library parking lot which is not allowed. The Taco stand takes up numerous parking spaces on the street. This Taco stand is (1) block outside a residential neighborhood. When I overheard a customer ask the vendor how long they planned to be there, he said “Every day”.

  5. Gail Didden says:

    Why doesent the community council do something about this. This should be something they deal with.

  6. Alan Goldsmith says:

    These operations trick gullible and dumb lawmakers like Solis into believing that they’re some new kind of victims deserving exemption fro inspections, permit fees, fire & building codes, etc in order to serve starving and poor diners. I can’t imagine a better and complete pile of WOKE. I used to like Newsome but he has proven his incompetence and danger with this subject, his sanctuary state, and more.

  7. joan hill says:

    Agree. thank you for highlighting this activity and providing the contact details. Good job Sue.

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