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Hot Dog Sellers Win a Round Over Where to Store Carts

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Hot dog vendors relished a partial victory Tuesday when the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors sided with them in a battle against health regulations they contend are driving them out of business.

Wiener salesmen have bristled over state rules that require them to store their carts and food overnight at a commissary.

They complain that the commissaries charge high rents, maintain inconvenient hours and are not centrally located.

The board unanimously instructed the county’s Department of Health Services to rewrite its own ordinances to take advantage of vaguely worded state regulations concerning the storage of hot dog carts.

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The rewritten county ordinance would allow vendors with fewer than three carts to stop storing them at commissaries.

The hot dog salesmen want to be allowed to clean the carts at a carwash and to keep them at home, but the county has not yet determined where the carts should be stored.

“This is a victory for the hot dog vendors,” said Mort Diamond, the self-styled “hot dog king” of the San Fernando Valley. “It means a lot to me. I might start crying. I can’t believe it.”

But not everybody is happy. Two commissary owners complained to the board that current laws protect the eating public’s safety.

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“We are dealing with a state law and I’m wondering if it’s right to tamper with the law,” said Gabriel Garciamendez, owner of One Stop Foods Co. in Los Angeles.

The Health Department will send its proposed amendments of the county ordinances to the board in a month.


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