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Anaheim : Street Vendors Seek to Avert Selling Ban

Street vendors who cater to predominantly Latino neighborhoods in Anaheim will be back before the City Council on Tuesday to seek permission to sell in apartment areas.

In a report to the City Council, John W. Poole of the city’s code enforcement office recommended that the council either leave its ban on sales in apartment areas intact or change the code to allow such business, but with strict controls. The controls would prohibit business between 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. and ban all music, bells and horns, which the vendors say are crucial to attract customers. Under this option, Poole also recommended that the vendors’ annual business license fee be increased from $25 to $150.

Anaheim prohibits sales from parked vehicles on a business district street, and the California Vehicle Code definition of such streets includes those in front of apartment houses.

Late last year, after residents complained about traffic congestion, noise and litter, Poole’s office initiated a crackdown on vendors selling fruits, vegetables and ice cream.

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Between Nov. 1, 1985, and March 31, 1986, officials issued 57 citations and police arrested five persons for various violations, Poole said.

The 62 cases involved 117 violations, including lack of various city and county permits, unprotected food and selling within 200 feet of a city park. The majority of the violations, however, were for selling merchandise from a parked vehicle in the apartment areas, Poole said.

The vendors said the crackdown took them by surprise and robbed them of the most lucrative areas in the city for hawking their goods. Because both the vendors and the customers are predominantly Latino, the vendors accused the city of discriminating against its Latin population--a charge city officials have denied.

During a City Council meeting last month, Jose Luis Bucio, the president of a newly formed union of vendors, said his group would be willing to limit street sales from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., wait for customers in one spot no more than five minutes and ban music, “the heart of our business,” after 7 p.m.

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