Council Adopts New Laws to Support a Safe and Healthy Santa Monica

August 25, 2021 11:12 AM

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — At last night’s meeting, the Santa Monica City Council approved an emergency ordinance to address public safety and environmental risks arising from increased crowds and commercial activities, particularly in the Pier and beach area. The ordinance prohibits the use of unpermitted combustible fuels on and around the Santa Monica Pier, dumping of commercial trash in public receptacles, and disposing of liquid waste in public spaces and storm drains.

“The Santa Monica Pier is a historical wooden structure entrusted to us to safeguard against dangerous conditions and fire risk. As the stewards of our beautiful coastline, we also take seriously the impacts of littering and commercial dumping on our beaches, ocean, and marine wildlife,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich. “We plead for the support of our community and anyone engaging in commercial activity in the Pier and beach area by following the new rules that protect the health, safety, and natural beauty of our public spaces.”

The three modifications to the Santa Monica Municipal Code are as follows:

  1. Unregulated use of combustible fuels on and around the Pier: Prohibits any person from using any combustible fuel (including propane, butane, any other liquid gas, kerosene, steno, charcoal or wood) on the Pier (including the Pier Bridge) or within 25 feet of the Pier, for any purpose involving the fuel’s combustion including heating, lighting, or cooking without a permit from the Fire Marshal. 
  2. Dumping of commercial trash in public receptacles: Expands definition making it unlawful for any owner, manager, operator, or employee of a business to deposit litter from that business in a public receptacle citywide without a permit from the Department of Public Works.  
  3. Dumping of liquid waste in public areas and storm drains: Expands definition making it unlawful for any person to dispose of any liquid waste in any storm drain or on any street, sidewalk, bike path, public parking lot, public park, the beach, the Santa Monica Pier, or any public receptacle citywide. “Liquid waste” includes fuels, solvents, cooking oil or fat, grease, paint, detergents, fertilizers, pesticides, lubricants, surfactants, waste oils, coolants, grease, liquid containing residue of raw fish, meat, or chicken, or prescription or non-prescription medicines.

All three of the new prohibitions are subject to being enforced as infractions, misdemeanors, or through issuance of administrative citations. In addition, combustible fuels used in violation of the new ordinance will be subject to impound by the Fire Marshal. 

The City’s Code Enforcement Division will distribute educational materials regarding the new regulations to sidewalk vendors and others engaging in commercial activity on and around the Santa Monica Pier. Enforcement will be conducted collaboratively between Code Enforcement, the Santa Monica Police Department, and the Santa Monica Fire Department. 

For additional information, see the staff report. If you are a vendor interested in participating in the City’s Sidewalk Vending Program, learn more at


Media Contact

Constance Farrell
Communications & Public Information Manager


Council And Commissions, Recycling and Trash, Safety


City Council

More Information

Sidewalk Vending Program Info