Workshop Held to Break Down San Diego’s New Sidewalk Vendor Ordinance

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SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – San Diego city officials, community advocates and sidewalk vendors gathered at the Logan Heights Library on Tuesday for a community workshop regarding the new sidewalk vendor ordinance that should come into force in the coming weeks.

“I hear different rumors all the time about what you can do, what you can’t do, when it’s going to stop,” said sidewalk vendor Fawn Pham.

“That’s the reason why I came here now is because I don’t even know how to set up my business legally and how can I display my business legally in what way. What are the exact places where I can use it?” sidewalk vendor Zishan Raja added.

The community workshop held Tuesday was one of three aimed at helping San Diegans become familiar with the rules and regulations of the ordinance.

“There are a lot of vague areas. Another is to say that there are no high traffic areas. But how can I determine this as a supplier? What is high traffic? Maybe an area is low traffic one day or high traffic another day? So it gets quite confusing,” Raja said.

Advocates and city officials like Elizabeth Studebaker hope that this workshop and other efforts can present and clarify any concerns people have about this.

“As far as proactive education about where you can sell, what we’re doing right now is sorting out the specific language in the order to then better articulate where we want everyone to sell,” said Studebaker, who works with the city of San. Department of Economic Development of Diego.

Some vendors say they see the reasoning behind putting these kinds of rules on the books.

“There has to be some sort of rules and health in place because you’re not just anybody who’s going to sell. What if people got sick? Pham said.

As public outreach continues, Studebaker says this is the first year of the order and adjustments may be made in the future.

“As I understand this year is a bit of a trial. We need to see how things work out, see what the opportunities are for sellers to continue to earn a living and earn a living for themselves and their families. And that the city council is going to review some of the bylaws over the next year,” Studebaker said.

Community advocates say the sidewalk vendor ordinance could go into effect no earlier than June 17.

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