Chapter 5.22


5.22.010    Definitions.

5.22.020    Permit required.

5.22.030    Exemptions.

5.22.040    Revocation of permits.

5.22.050    Applications.

5.22.060    Investigation and findings for mobile vending permit.

5.22.070    Permit not transferable.

5.22.080    Issuance of permit – Grounds for denial – Conditions.

5.22.090    Operators of mobile vending vehicles.

5.22.100    Maintenance of vehicles.

5.22.110    Additional regulations.


For the purpose of this chapter, certain words and phrases shall be construed as herein set forth, unless it is apparent from the context that a different meaning is intended.

(a)    “Mobile vendor” means any person in charge of or operating any mobile vending vehicle, either as agent, employee, or otherwise under the direction of the owner.

(b)    “Mobile vending vehicle” means any vehicle, wagon or pushcart from which goods, wares, merchandise, fruits, vegetables or foodstuffs are sold, displayed, solicited or offered for sale or bartered or exchanged, or any lunch wagon or eating cart or vehicle on any portion of any street within the city.

(c)    “Owner” means any person, firm, association or corporation having proprietary control of or right to proprietary control of any mobile vending vehicle as defined herein.

(d)    “Permit officer” shall mean the city manager or the city manager’s designee.

(Ord. 2005-27 § 2 (part), 2005).


No person, either as owner, agent or otherwise, shall furnish, operate, conduct, maintain, advertise, or otherwise be engaged in or profess to be engaged in the business or service of operating mobile vending vehicles upon the streets, alleys, or any public way or place of the city unless such person holds a currently valid mobile vending permit, issued pursuant to this chapter.

(Ord. 2005-27 § 2 (part), 2005).

5.22.030 EXEMPTIONS.

(a)    A mobile vending vehicle owned or operated by any public agency, or operated pursuant to a franchise issued in accordance with the Santa Cruz City Charter, or for the operation of which a certificate of public convenience and necessity has been granted by the Public Utilities Commission of the state of California, shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter.

(b)    This chapter shall not apply to persons delivering goods, wares, merchandise, fruits, vegetables or foodstuffs upon order of, or by agreement with, a customer from a store or other fixed place of business or distribution.

(c)    This chapter shall not apply to vendors participating in farmer’s markets, street fairs, sidewalk sales or other special events permitted by the city pursuant to Chapters 10.64 or 10.65.

(Ord. 2005-27 § 2 (part), 2005).


(a)    Mobile vending permits may be revoked for any cause which would have warranted denial thereof in the first instance, or for a failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter or any of the conditions of the permit.

(b)    Mobile vending permits are subject to renewal in March of each calendar year, irrespective if a 12-month period has not elapsed since the original issue of the permit.

(Ord. 2005-27 § 2 (part), 2005).


(a)    Any person may apply to the city for a mobile vending permit by filing with the permit officer, upon forms supplied by the city, an application containing the following information:

(1)    The residence and business address of applicant, if a natural person. If a firm, association or partnership, the name and address thereof and the names and residences of partners or association members. If a corporation, the name and address thereof and the names and residences of officers and local manager, if any;

(2)    Nature of business;

(3)    Number, make, model and engine number, and photograph, if any, of vehicles proposed to be operated, or so much of said information as is available at the time of application;

(4)    A list of the goods, wares, merchandise, fruits, vegetables or foodstuffs to be sold, displayed, exchanged or bartered;

(5)    The days of the week and hours of the day for which permission is being sought to operate the mobile vending business; and

(6)    Such other information as the city may require and as requested in said application form.

(Ord. 2005-27 § 2 (part), 2005).


(a)    Completed applications for a mobile vending permit shall be filed with the permit officer who shall investigate each applicant and make a written determination whether to grant or deny the mobile vending permit within ninety days after the filing of the application, or as soon thereafter as is reasonably possible. Final approval may require Santa Cruz city council review and vote depending upon the operation’s impact on public property, pedestrian traffic, vehicle traffic, and public safety. The permit officer may submit the application to the city council for approval, conditional approval or denial; alternatively, the city council may inform the permit officer of its intention to take final action on a particular permit application. Permit applications in all cases are to be submitted to the permit officer. The city council will not accept applications.

(b)    No mobile vending permit may be granted unless the permit officer makes each of the following findings:

(1)    The mobile vending permit business has met each of the requirements listed elsewhere in this chapter;

(2)    The operation of the vending vehicle, wagon or cart will not result in traffic hazards;

(3)    The operation of the vending vehicle, wagon or cart will not disrupt the neighborhoods in which it will be operated; and

(4)    The applicant has not been convicted during the last seven years of any felony or any crime involving driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substance; any crime involving the sale, use of, or transportation of narcotics; any crime involving reckless driving, any suspension of driver’s license; a criminal assault; any crime involving theft or embezzlement; or any child annoyance or sex-related crime, as determined through a background investigation conducted by the police department.

(Ord. 2005-27 § 2 (part), 2005).


Mobile vending permits shall not be assignable or transferable, except as herein provided. If the ownership of in excess of thirty-three percent of the mobile vending business whether corporate stock, partnership interest or otherwise shall change, a new permit must be obtained; provided, however, that in the event of an involuntary transfer, by reason of the death or mental incapacity of the permittee, the personal representative or successor of such decedent or mentally incapacitated permittee may continue to operate the business under such permit, subject to all the provisions of this chapter, if such personal representative or successor would otherwise qualify for such permit pursuant to the terms of this chapter.

(Ord. 2005-27 § 2 (part), 2005).


(a)    The permit officer shall issue the mobile vending permit upon payment of the license fees required and proof of a valid city-issued business license and County environmental health permit required of all applicants for a permit to operate a mobile vending vehicle over the streets of the city, unless he or she finds, as a result of the investigation of the applicant, that:

(1)    Any vehicle proposed to be operated is inadequate or insufficient for the purpose intended, is insufficiently equipped with reasonable safety devices or fails the required fire department safety inspection;

(2)    The granting of such permit would be in violation of any ordinance of this city or would endanger the public health, peace, morals or safety, or on the basis of any reasonable cause it is determined that the proposed operation would be undesirable in the city or inadequate; provided, however, that if the issuance of the permit were conditioned upon certain performance standards, the grounds upon which it would otherwise be denied might be prevented or avoided, such permit may be issued subject to reasonable conditions;

(3)    The applicant fails the criminal history background investigation referenced in Section 5.22.060(b)(4);

(4)    Any of the other requirements for the approval of a permit application prescribed elsewhere in this chapter have not been met.

(Ord. 2005-27 § 2 (part), 2005).


No person shall operate a for-hire vehicle unless that person has not been convicted during the last seven years of any felony or any crime involving driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substance; any crime involving the sale, use of, or transportation of narcotics; any crime involving reckless driving, any suspension of driver’s license; a criminal assault; any crime involving theft or embezzlement; or any child annoyance or sex-related crime and has a currently valid operator’s or chauffeur’s license authorizing the operation of such vehicle, if required. All operators shall undergo a background investigation with the police department and meet the aforesaid qualifications prior to issuance of a mobile vending permit.

(Ord. 2005-27 § 2 (part), 2005).


(a)    Every mobile vending vehicle operating under this chapter shall be inspected by:

(1)    The fire department prior to issuance of the mobile vending permit; and

(2)    The police department at such intervals as shall be established by the permit officer to ensure the continued maintenance of safe operating conditions. Every such vehicle shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition at all times in conformance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the chief of police.

(Ord. 2005-27 § 2 (part), 2005).


(a)    All mobile vendors shall comply with the following regulations;

(1)    Street vending in industrial and residential areas only;

(2)    No vending within three hundred feet of any school;

(3)    The vendor may stop for a maximum of fifteen minutes per stop. The vendor must move at least one block before making another stop;

(4)    No vending in commercial districts;

(5)    No vending in congested areas where it may impede or inconvenience the public or create a traffic hazard;

(6)    No vending in areas not approved by the permit officer;

(7)    No vendor shall use amplified sound to attract attention, but may use bells or other devices described in the application and approved by the permit officer;

(8)    Only ready-to-eat food is permitted. Food preparation on the street is prohibited. The vendor may sell only fruits, vegetables or foodstuffs described in the application filed with the permit officer and approved by the permit officer; and

(9)    The vendor must have a business license and approval of its operation by the county health department, if required for food service.

(Ord. 2005-27 § 2 (part), 2005).