Visalia looks to regulate sidewalk vendors

A new ordinance looks to regulate sidewalk vendors following a state law that legalized street vending but allowed local health and safety rules.

Visalia City Council reviewed an ordinance designed to regulate sidewalk vendors Monday.

Ordinance 2019-05 is designed in response to California State Senate Bill 946.


The state bill, passed in 2018, freed up restrictions and curtailed regulations for sidewalk vendors. The law allows local agencies to restrict vendors, but regulations should be directly related to objective health, safety or welfare concerns.

The ordinance only regulates sidewalk vendors and is not intended to impact food trucks, door to door solicitors, mobile services, micro-enterprise restaurants conducted out of a residence and yard sales.

The ordinance follows state law and divides sidewalk vendors into two categories: roaming and stationary.

Roaming vendors move from place to place and stop only to complete a transaction. Stationary vendors stay in a fixed location.

Under the health and safety restrictions, vendors must comply with ADA regulations and remain at least 5 feet from parking spots and 10 feet from business entryways, bus stops and intersections.

The proposed ordinance will also set a guideline for vendors to obtain a permit.

During the initial evaluation, Vice-Mayor Steve Nelsen commented that while he thought the ordinance was good, it could be difficult to enforce.

This was the ordinance’s first read, so there was no vote.

The City Council approved of the first reading 5-0. The proposed ordinance will be revisited at a later date.

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