Vending Education and Enforcement

It is important to note that all vending regulations are in place and enforced with a focus on the protection of public health and safety. City teams are actively engaged in education and enforcement efforts to protect the health and safety of our community and visitors. 

How to Report an Issue 

To report unpermitted vending activity, call the City of Santa Monica at (310)458-8491. To report an issue with LA County Department of Public Health enforcement, contact LA County Department of Public Health online here or Environmental Health Customer Call Center at (888) 700-9995 (Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., excluding Holidays). Report Foodborne Illness online or call the LA County of Department of Public Health Morbidity Unit at (213) 240-7821 (Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). 

Santa Monica Pier

The City recognizes there are vendors on the Pier and along the beach area who are attempting to operate outside of the legal permit system and counter to the City’s location restrictions. Here is a snapshot of these efforts to address unpermitted vending: 

  • Dedicated Code Enforcement staffing specifically focused on vending compliance and safety, with support from Santa Monica Police Department personnel 
  • Focused enforcement at Beach Lot 1 North on large vehicles in public parking lots 
  • Pursuing criminal charges and stay-away orders against those involved in criminal conduct or violence 
  • Advocating with state legislators for modest changes to state law that would protect the objectives of SB 946 while enabling the City to more effectively address public safety impacts related to the health and safety of all of our visitors on the Pier 

 Remember, if you purchase items from a vendor, be sure they have an official vending permit issued by the City of Santa Monica as well as an LA County Public Health Permit for food items. Look for these permit decals on the vendors cart or badge. Do not purchase items from unpermitted vendors in areas around the Pier where illegal vending is prohibited.

Unpermitted Combustible Fuels, Dumping of Commercial Trash, and Disposing of Liquid and Solid Waste 

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. This ordinance applies to all persons or businesses, not just vendors. The three amendments to the Santa Monica Municipal Code are as follows: 

  1. Unpermitted use of combustible fuels on and around the Pier, SMMC 3.36.290: 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, SMMC 7.48.025: Prohibits 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 and solid waste in public areas and storm drains, SMMC 7.48.130: Dumping of liquid and solid waste is a City Code violation subject to fines and enforcement. This law Prohibits any person from disposing of any liquid waste in any storm drain or disposing of liquid or solid waste 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 impoundment. 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. 

Contesting a Citation 

 If you wish to appeal an Administrative Citation issued by the City of Santa Monica you must complete a Request for Review of Administrative Citation.