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ORANGE : Study May Help Ease Pushcart Controls

The City Council on Tuesday voted 4 to 1 to conduct a study that could pave the way for pushcart vendors to operate year-round, despite a city code that now bans them except for temporary special events.

Councilwoman Joanne Coontz cast the dissenting vote, saying that permitting such vendors to operate, even with restrictions, would encourage unauthorized vendors to come to the city.

“Pushcarts are something code enforcement has a problem with now,” Coontz said, referring to streets bordering Santa Ana. “I just don’t think we have the money to go toward something that would not be a great benefit to the city.”

The council’s study was requested by pushcart business owner Edward Dart, who is seeking an amendment to the code so he can operate at large businesses such as Home Depot and the Mall of Orange.

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Dart is the owner of The Hot Dogger and president of the Orange County Pushcart Assn.

The 1978 code restricts outside pushcart vendors because of potential problems with litter, health and traffic safety. Under the current code, vendors can operate only under a special events permit, which is limited to 45 days.

Three years ago, the city denied an appeal of the restriction after the public protested. There were only two protesters at Tuesday’s meeting, which was not a public hearing on the issue.

“I would hate to see Orange become another Santa Ana,” resident Bob Bennyhoff told the Council. “I don’t want to see pushcarts all over Orange.”

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The new study, expected to take several months to complete, is to determine the “parameters for an ordinance amendment to allow (long-term) pushcarts” in the city, according to Councilman Fred L. Barrera.


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