A year after former California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that would bar cities from over-regulating or prohibiting street vendors, San Jose is expected to update its own peddler permit requirements.
The Safe Sidewalk Vending Act, which took effect Jan. 1, requires California cities to allow stationary or roaming street vendors unless there is a health, safety or welfare concern. The new law also restricts local governments from limiting the number of vendors, constraining them to a certain area or slapping peddlers with criminal charges for violations. While commercial areas have a bit more flexibility, cities are allowed to restrict stationary vendors in residential areas.
San Jose’s City Council will discuss the new local rules when it meets Tuesday.
Enforcement duties will also be shifted, per the state law. Pending approval, designated city employees will be able to hand out administrative citations only, which are price capped based on the number of violations a vendor already has.
San Jose’s current Peddler Permit Ordinance, regulates three types of vendors: stationary sidewalk vendors, roaming sidewalk vendors and food trucks. Only the first two are regulated under the Safe Sidewalk Vending Act. To align with the state law, City Manager Dave Sykes and City Attorney Rick Doyle are proposing:
- To limit peddling in residential areas from 9am to 5pm, or 9am to 7pm during daylight savings time.
- That food peddlers must display a Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health permit and comply will all food preparation and fire codes.
- To restrict peddling within 500 feet of city events, such as street fairs, festivals or parades. They’d also restrict peddling during school hours, farmers markets and swap meets.
- To restrict stationary peddlers in residential areas.
- That vendors must dispose of trash properly and meet federal ADA accessibility requirements.
San Jose’s current law also has an arena peddling prohibition zone, which bars vending on certain downtown streets. Sykes and Doyle propose removing it and instead restricting peddling within 500 feet of SAP Center, Avaya Stadium, the Municipal Stadium and the McEnery Convention Center during events.
This is “because of the impacts to pedestrian and peddler safety due to overcrowding on sidewalks, which results in pedestrians walking in the street and along the sidewalk to keep moving forward,” Sykes and Doyle wrote in a city memo.
“These venues also experience a high amount of traffic on event days, affecting the safety of pedestrians and motorists, due to a high concentration of visitors at one time,” the city officials added.
Mayor Sam Liccardo and councilwoman Magdalena Carrasco and Maya Esparza, however, want to work with the four event spaces to“identify and designate safe locations for peddlers.” In a memo, the trio advocated that the law’s “blanket 500-foot restriction” isn’t narrowly tailored and leaves room for interpretation.
“We do not want to limit economic opportunities for peddlers nor repeal any of the protections that the city council has already put in place,” Liccardo, Carrasco and Esparza wrote in their shared memo. “Five-hundred feet is approximately two football fields. For example, such as restriction would expand to the Guadalupe Creek adjacent to the the SAP Center. More defined prohibitions would ensure safety for the patrons and economic opportunities for our vendors.”
The San Jose City Council meets at 1:30pm Tuesday inside the council chambers at City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St. Click here to read the entire agenda.