Santa Monica City Council Approves Sidewalk Vending Program

April 10, 2019 8:33 AM

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. — At its meeting on Tuesday, April 9, the Santa Monica City Council unanimously adopted an emergency ordinance and approved a comprehensive sidewalk vending program to create a legal pathway for vending in spaces that were formerly restricted. This aligns with a new state law - SB 946, the Safe Sidewalk Vending Act -which decriminalized street vending in public spaces. The new program prioritizes public health and safety and expands economic opportunity for those who vend lawfully with appropriate permits.

“Santa Monica’s approach to sidewalk vending strikes an important balance that we hope will create an inclusive, safe, and successful business environment for vendors and customers, ensure public safety, and allow our public spaces to be enjoyed by all,” said Mayor Gleam Davis.

The program will launch immediately through an emergency ordinance designed to roll out a program before the busy summer season. The Santa Monica Municipal Code will be updated with new definitions of sidewalk- and vehicle-based vending, and staff will soon issue administrative regulations to provide additional details on requirements and restrictions. 

Key aspects of the program, include:

Comprehensive public education and outreach in English and Spanish has already begun, and will ramp up in the coming months before the busy summer season. Information on how to apply for a business license and vendor permit, relevant City ordinances and administrative regulations, and FAQs are available on the City’s website. A series of bilingual application workshops will be held to assist vendors through the application process. 

“We’re committed to working alongside vending entrepreneurs to ensure they get licensed and permitted with the City and county,” said Deputy City Manager and Policy Director Anuj Gupta. “We’ll also encourage and facilitate lawful vending in desirable and permissible locations that are economically attractive, such as the Colorado Esplanade.”

In compliance with SB 946, enforcement against sidewalk vendors will be administrative in nature. Council directed staff to return with an administrative fine schedule. A dedicated Code Enforcement detail will be reassigned to the Pier and beach to promote compliance in these high impact areas.

Permit applications for sidewalk vending in Santa Monica will be available beginning in May 2019.

Media Contact

Constance Farrell
Communications & Public Information Manager


City Manager's Office

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