Ice cream vendors and other peddlers in Burbank who defy the city's year-old ban on pushcarts can lose their carts under a change to the ordinance approved by the City Council on Tuesday.
"It did not have a lot of teeth in it and it was hard to enforce," Burbank Mayor Bill Wiggins said of the pushcart ban. The council voted 4 to 0, with George Battey absent, to allow police and code enforcement officials to seize carts from vendors who have repeatedly ignored the ban.
The council is expected to formally adopt the measure next week.
"They have either complied with the ban or thumbed their noses at us," said license and code supervisor Terre Hirsch. Most vendors have complied with the ban, but a handful have returned to Burbank. Sometimes they do not have identification or give different names each time they are warned or cited.
Since the ban went into effect in March, 1993, the city has issued 25 warnings to vendors. Hirsch said six vendors have been warned twice, and five have received citations.
"But we've had pretty good compliance with it," Hirsch said.
By giving the city the power to seize the pushcarts, the vendors who defiantly sell their wares risk losing the carts and will be forced to pay impound fees of $25 to $50 to get them back.
Motorized ice cream trucks are still allowed in Burbank as long as they do not stay in one spot more than 15 minutes. The ordinance also allows for special permits to be issued for pushcarts in downtown Burbank.