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Home / News / Politics / Anaheim council OKs impoundment of street vendors’ equipment

Anaheim council OKs impoundment of street vendors’ equipment

by HeyWire AI
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The Anaheim City Council is updating the city’s sidewalk vendor laws, allowing code enforcement officials to impound equipment from vendors found to not have permits.

On Tuesday with a unanimous vote the council empowered city staff to conduct solo raids and retain up to 90 days the confiscated gear used to sell goods such as crafted ornaments, meals and even the cherry-topped churros along Harbor Boulevard.

“We think it’s a good tool to have in the toolbox and something that we would like to be able to do,” said Ted White, Anaheim’s planning director.

Almost all of Anaheim food vendors don’t have the requisite permit for sidewalk vending. However, local authorities aim to expedite the permit process by scrapping the requirement to list former residences and past criminal convictions.

Concern for pedestrian safety was a key part of the discussion.

Councilwoman Norma Campos Kurtz recalled seeing families and people pushing strollers forced to walk into the street to get sidewalk vendors set up along Harbor Boulevard in the resort district.

“Cars had to stop in (a) lane to let … people finish walking” around vendors obstructing the sidewalk.

Public safety also took center stage in the ordinance update.

Anaheim spokesperson Erin Ryan raised the alarm over health hazards stemming from improperly managed raw meat and inadequate grease disposal by vendors.

“We’ve had residents call us and tell us they bought food from a vendor and then a family member got very very sick,” Ryan said.

Street vendor Angel Pineda lamented the costs vendors face. With a business license and vendor permit totaling $172 a year, profits can be slim.

“It could be cheaper, like 170 bucks a year, sometimes we only make 50 bucks a day, and you expect us to pay 170,” said Pineda, whose family operates street vendors selling flowers and food without permits in Anaheim.

City officials noted that the over 423 citations issued last year and 174 instances of impounded equipment shows a need for stronger enforcement of the law, adding that seizing equipment should be the last resort.

Anaheim’s move contrasts the Los Angeles City Council’s decision last week to abolish nearly all no-vending zones. That action was tied to a possible lawsuit settlement with vendors who have sued the city.

As reported by NBC4 Los Angeles, Hoodline, the Orange County Register and LAist.

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