LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A municipal code usually used to keep sidewalks clear of homeless encampments will be used for another regular sight on Hollywood sidewalks – street vendors.
Items of street vendors on the Hollywood Walk of Fame who set up tables or large carts to sell their goods will now be subject to the code, known as 56.11, which has traditionally been used to prevent homeless encampments.
Tony Arranaga, City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell’s spokesman, said the city is not specifically targeting street vendors – just anyone violating the bulky item code because the world-famous boulevard have become a hazard for pedestrians and disabled people.
“It’s not directed at street vendors. I want to make that clear. It’s for bulky items that are impeding (Americans With Disabilities Act) accessibility,” Arranaga said.
That’s a hard sell for some vendors.
“If they take my stuff, that means stealing is OK,” said Ronald Pleasant, who sells lighters, chips and other items on this part of the Boulevard.
“If they take this away today, then I might stop today, but I’m gonna come back tomorrow,” hot dog vendor Dennis Reyes told CBS2. “I make sure that I stay on this one spot on the far side of the street so people can walk and watch the stars.”
Organizers with the L.A. Street Vendor Campaign came out in protest of the change Monday, asking the public to sign cards in support of the sellers that will be sent to O’Farrell’s office.
According to the code, a bulky item is anything that cannot fit into a 60-gallon barrel, and the items can be confiscated by the city, with the owners having 90 days to reclaim them. Arranaga said the code would not apply to a vendor carrying their items, but that most of the vendors operating on the boulevard are likely in violation.
Sidewalk vending is currently illegal in Los Angeles, although the City Council is working on a comprehensive sidewalk vending program that would fully regulate the new industry.
Los Angeles is the only major city in America that outlaws all sidewalk vending, although it decriminalized the practice last year in favor of issuing citations while the council develops a permitting process. Arranaga said he was unaware of any major effort by the city to enforce the sidewalk vending law on the Walk of Fame before the coming code enforcement.
Arranaga also said the focus of the effort is in a relatively small area, along Hollywood Boulevard from Orange Drive to McCadden Place, a four-block stretch which includes the TCL Chinese Theater, the Hollywood and Highland complex and El Capitan Theatre.
The full Walk of Fame stretches from La Brea Avenue to Gower Street, or about 18 blocks.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)