Street Vendors Do Not Play by the Rules: Melee in Santa Monica

A grill, that is started with wood and produces large flames, is located next to Sunset Boulevard and near a tree and bus stop. It appears that air and fire concerns do not pertain to street vending.

What happens if street vendors are not regulated in L.A. County and L.A. City?

It seems it could lead to a dangerous free-for-all as vendors try to stake out territory.

KABC reported  that “A fight involving about 20 men near the Santa Monica Pier Saturday afternoon around 2:21 p.m. left one man with an apparent stab wound, one man with a possibly broken ankle and five men in custody.

“It’s unclear what started the brawl, but according to witnesses who spoke with Eyewitness News, some of the men involved appeared to be street vendors. Police have not confirmed that information.”

Eyewitness Jose Guiterrez told KABC, “So, I make my way down that way, and it turns out it was like a brawl, like 12-plus people. They were just going at it with poles and flags and umbrellas – whatever they could get their hands on. I saw a guy with a belt in his hand.”

Three of the five men arrested were taken into custody for assault with a deadly weapon, a fourth was arrested for battery and a fifth was arrested for sexual battery.

Exactly what are the required sidewalk vending regulations? On the state side, former Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 946, known as the Safe Sidewalk Vending Act, decriminalizing sidewalk vending and allowing local authorities to adopt non-criminal laws. State Senator Ben Allen voted in favor of the bill when it passed in August 2018.

This past February, L.A. County Supervisors passed the Sidewalk Vending Program. That program includes $0 registration fees the first year and $100 renewals to ensure affordability.

Also that same day, the Los Angeles City Council voted to lower a $541 annual fee to $27.51 per-year permit fees for city sidewalk vending.

“I am so excited for this movement to support sidewalk vendors across Los Angeles,” Los Angeles City Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez said prior to the vote. She described street vendors as the “backbone” of local commerce.

Unlike street vendors, brick-and-mortar stores must pay property, business and employee taxes, including the current minimum wage of $17.27 per hour.

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2 Responses to Street Vendors Do Not Play by the Rules: Melee in Santa Monica

  1. Michael says:

    Saying the grill in the picture is dangerous is quite a stretch

  2. Sue says:

    I guess you haven’t walked by when she’s getting it going–stacked with wood and flames leaping several feet in the air.

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