The Beaumont City Council is extending a public hearing regarding sidewalk vendors until the Sept. 3 meeting.

A new law, Senate Bill 946, regarding sidewalk vendors took effect January 1, 2019 in California.

The law decriminalizes sidewalk vending.

According to a Beaumont staff report, SB 946 specifically allows for regulations or the prohibition of sidewalk vending in certain circumstances. This includes stationary vending at a park if it has an existing agreement or stationary vending in residential areas.

It also includes vending in the immediate vicinity of permitted certified farmers markets or swap meets during operating hours, and vending in the immediate vicinity of an area designated for a temporary special event.

According to the staff report, the city may adopt requirements regulating the time, date and place of sidewalk vending.

In Beaumont, all sidewalk vendors are required to obtain a permit from the city planning department. Permits will be effective for one year.

Sidewalk vending is not allowed on public property other than a sidewalk; within 200 feet of any other sidewalk vendor; within 100 feet of a street intersection, within 10 feet of any driveway.

The sidewalk vendors must maintain a clean and sanitized operation, including picking up trash and providing hand sanitizer if selling cooked food.

They also must display copies of all city, county and state permits.

Vending carts shall not exceed a length of four feet, a width of four feet, or a height of ten feet.

The updates to the municipal code provide regulations to accommodate the equipment while providing safety to pedestrians on public sidewalks, parkways, pedestrian paths or walkways and other public rights-of-way to reduce risk of ADA violations.

This does not apply to peddlers, who may go door-to-door to do their sales.

Vendors typically do not go door-to-door.

City attorney John Pinkney said there are restrictions regarding health, safety and welfare concerns.

An example would be vendors going from school to school and selling ice cream.

City manager Todd Parton said that vendors have to have a food permit ID and make it visible to the public.

Mayor Julio Martinez also questioned if vendors need to be within 200 feet of another vendor.

Vendors are a separate entity and they need to keep a reasonable distance so they are not blocking sidewalks.

Parton said that the city also has to deal with crowding issues at intersections.

Pinkney said that the city had to make changes to the ordinance because it did not pertain to sidewalk vendors. In the past, they were subject to criminal prosecution.

Staff writer Julie Farren may be reached at jfarren@recordgazette.net .

Staff Writer Julie Farren may be reached at jfarren@recordgazette.net.

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