San Diego/ Community & Society
AI Assisted Icon
Published on March 29, 2024
San Diego Enacts Tougher Sidewalk Vending Ordinance to Distinguish Between Authorized and Unauthorized VendorsSource: City of San Diego

San Diego's street scene is set to experience some regulatory ripples as the enforcement of the amended Sidewalk Vending Ordinance kicks in this Friday. The rules, revamped by Councilmember Jennifer Campbell, have been given the green light by her peers in City Hall. Under the remodeled regulation, clear boundaries between protected vending activities under the First Amendment and those that bend the rules are drawn, with muscle added to oversight and the potential impounding of rogue operations, reported by the City of San Diego website.

After a year of witnessing skirmishes between law-abiding vendors and the so-called rogue vendors, it is envisioned that the new amendments will provide a clearer and enforced division. Campbell cited incidents where unauthorized vendors got physical with their rule-following counterparts. According to the coverage by FOX 5 San Diego, Campbell said, "These amendments will protect permitted vendors who comply with all City requirements and help eliminate unlawful vending activities."

The local government's action is a response to on-street challenges and is aimed at enhancing the business climate and public spaces in equal measure. San Diego's finest, along with park rangers, have started a week of outreach and will soon switch to strict enforcement.

In remarks obtained by FOX 5 San Diego, Councilmember Campbell outlined the revisions' purpose: "When we make an ordinance, we try to include in it that every year that we will look at it and amend it if necessary because as times change, things change, sometimes you have to spruce things up. And go with whatever the changes are to make things work." These changes, small but pivotal, aim to strike a balance between fostering small businesses and curating vibrant public spaces while sifting out the bad actors.

Artists and buskers found themselves in the eye of San Diego's vending storm, as the ordinance also sought to untangle their rights from those of vendors. Magician Robert Tinajero told FOX 5 San Diego that the updated language in the ordinance makes "a clear distinction of rights for performers and artist versus vendors." He commented on the new clarity, "They are kind of taking the gray zone and making it black and white, what is art, and what isn't."