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City Council Considers Regulating Street Performers, Hawksters At Venice Beach

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VENICE (CBS) —  The Los Angeles city council is considering a new plan to regulate the colorful characters, jugglers, clowns, musicians and hawksters on the Venice Boardwalk, a city councilman said Saturday.

Councilman Bill Rosendahl posted the proposed ordinance on his website today, and told his constituents that the city has had “an ongoing struggle with the judicial system to come up with a workable plan to regulate commercial vending, promote entertainers and performers, and protect residential quality of life at Venice Beach.”

The ordinance was drafted by City Attorney Carmen Trutanich’s office. The proposed measure revises the definition of “perform, performer and performance” to exempt people offering handcrafts, body painting, hair weaves, or massages, or creating art.

That move will comply with a recent federal court ruling, where regulatory language adopted by the City of Santa Monica was approved as not unduly restricting constitutional rights, Rosendahl said.

Previous attempts to reign in the circus-like atmosphere have stalled due to concerns over free speech concerns.

The council is expected to take up the issue on Tuesday.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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