4.18.010:    Purpose

4.18.020:    Findings

4.18.030:    Definitions

4.18.040:    Permit Required

4.18.050:    Issuance Of Permit

4.18.060:    Operating Conditions

4.18.070:    Prohibited Locations

4.18.080:    Prohibited Activities

4.18.090:    Penalties

4.18.100:    Appeals

4.18.110:    Conflict With Other Code Sections

4.18.010 PURPOSE:

The purpose of this chapter is to establish a sidewalk vendor permitting and regulatory program that complies with Senate Bill 946 (Chapter 459, Statutes 2018). The provisions of this chapter bring the city into compliance with Senate Bill 946 by removing illegal prohibitions on sidewalk vending activities while still permitting the regulation and enforcement of such activities. Sections 51036 through 51039 of the California Government Code confer upon local governments the authority to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of its residents. The requirements set forth in this chapter are intended to protect the public’s health, safety and welfare by ensuring that vendors on public property provide safe and sanitary conditions for consumers and the general public, are adequately insured, and are properly licensed with other agencies. This chapter is adopted pursuant to the city’s police powers for the purpose of regulating vending on public property. (Ord. 2020-118, 2-18-2020)

4.18.020 FINDINGS:

The city council hereby finds that limitations on sidewalk vending are necessary to:

A.    Comply with state legislation.

B.    Promote the health, safety and welfare.

C.    Ensure that the goals and policies of the city’s general plan are upheld.

D.    Ensure that the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic including ingress into or egress from any residence, public building, or place of business, or from the street to the sidewalk, by persons exiting or entering parked or standing vehicles is maintained.

E.    Provide reasonable access for the use and maintenance of sidewalks, pathways, hydrants, restrooms, trash receptacles, firefighting apparatus, as well as access to locations used for public transportation service.

F.    Protect the quality of life of city residents and minimize disruptions to the quiet enjoyment of residential property by restricting noise-making devices associated with sidewalk vending.

G.    Ensure no interference to the performance of police, firefighter, and other emergency medical personnel services.

H.    Reduce exposure to the city for personal injury or property damage claims and litigation. (Ord. 2020-118, 2-18-2020)


Unless the contrary is stated or clearly appears from the context, the following definitions govern the construction of the words and phrases used in this chapter. Words and phrases not defined in this chapter have the meaning set forth elsewhere in this code, the California Business and Professions Code, California Vehicle Code, or California Government Code.


A location operated in accordance with chapter 10.5 of division 17 of the Food and Agricultural Code and any regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter, or any successor chapter.


The city of Gonzales.


The Gonzales City Code.


Any item provided in Health and Safety Code section 113781, or any successor section.


Any form of unauthorized or unpermitted touching, verbal abuse, blockage of pathways or interference with pedestrian traffic.


Any device moved by human power, including, but not limited to, a pushcart, wagon, bicycle, tricycle, pedal-driven cart, other nonmotorized conveyance, or other wheeled container or mechanism.


Any nonfood item that can be sold and immediately obtained from a sidewalk vendor, which is not considered food.


Any person or entity owning or otherwise controlling the operation of any business or activity involving vending on public property.


Any space designated for recreational purposes or open space in the most current version of the Gonzales general plan.


Any real property, public easement, public street, street median, alley, parkway, public sidewalk, or other interest therein owned, held, leased, operated or otherwise controlled by the city.


Any area zoned exclusively as residential in title 12, Zoning Regulations.


A sidewalk vendor who moves from place to place and stops only to complete a transaction.


That portion of a street, other than the roadway, set apart by curbs, barriers, markings or other specific delineation.


A pushcart, stand, display, pedal-driven cart, wagon, showcase, rack, or other nonmotorized conveyance used for sidewalk vending activities.


A person who vends goods or merchandise upon a public sidewalk, including, but not limited to, vending from a structure, stand, display, showcase, rack, human powered device or other means.


A city permitted event, including, but not limited to, festivals and/or cultural events.


A sidewalk vendor who vends from a fixed location.


Any act of hawking, operating noise-making devices to attract attention to the vendor, or the displaying, selling, or offering for sale of any displayed goods or merchandise to the public from any carrying device, box, bag, stand, human powered device, or from a vehicle. (Ord. 2020-118, 2-18-2020)


A.    No person, either for themselves or any other person, shall engage in any sidewalk vendor activities within the city without first applying and receiving a permit from the city under this chapter. Permit fees will be set by resolution of the city council and updated annually.

B.    No more than one commercial/residential permit shall be issued to an individual sidewalk vendor and only one vending receptacle is permitted per permit.

C.    Permits shall be issued in the order that they are received and deemed complete.

D.    A written application for a sidewalk vendor permit shall be filed with the city on a city provided form, and shall contain the following information:

1.    The names, address and telephone number of the person applying to become a sidewalk vendor.

2.    The name, address and telephone number of the person who will be in charge of any roaming sidewalk vendors, sidewalk vending activity and/or be responsible for the person working at the sidewalk vending receptacle.

3.    The name, address and telephone number of all persons that will be employed as roaming sidewalk vendors or at a sidewalk vending receptable.

4.    The locations in the city where the sidewalk vendor intends to operate.

5.    The days and hours of operations the sidewalk vendor intends to operate at such locations.

6.    Whether the vendor intends to operate as a stationary sidewalk vendor or a roaming sidewalk vendor and, if roaming, the intended path of travel.

7.    The dimensions of the sidewalk vendor’s sidewalk vending receptacle, a picture of the sidewalk vending receptacle as seen from all sides operating under the permit, and any signs that will be affixed thereto.

8.    Whether the sidewalk vendor will be selling food, merchandise, or both.

9.    If the sidewalk vendor is selling food, a description of the type of food to be sold, whether such foods are prepared on site, whether such foods will require a heating element inside or on the sidewalk vending receptable for food preparation, and the type of heating element, if any.

10.    If the vendor is selling merchandise, a description of the merchandise to be sold.

11.    If vending food, proof of a valid health permit issued by the Monterey County health department in accordance with part 7 of the California Health and Safety Code.

12.    If selling packaged items, proof the person possesses a valid California Department of Tax and Fee Administration seller’s permit which notes the city as a location or sub-location, which shall be maintained for the duration of the sidewalk vendor’s permit.

13.    An acknowledgment that the sidewalk vendor will comply with all generally applicable local, state and federal laws.

14.    A certification that, to the applicant’s knowledge and belief, the information contained within the application is true.

15.    An acknowledgment that the use of public property as authorized by state law shall be at the sidewalk vendor’s own risk, and the sidewalk vendor uses public property at his/her own risk.

16.    An acknowledgment that the sidewalk vendor will obtain and maintain, throughout the duration of any permit issued under this chapter, any insurance required by the city and shall name the city, its elected and appointed officials and employees as additional insureds under that policy.

17.    Any other relevant information required by the city.

18.    An agreement by the sidewalk vendor to defend, indemnify, release and hold harmless the city, its city council, boards, commissions, officers and employees from and against any and all claims, demands, obligations, damages, actions, causes of actions, suits, losses, judgments, fines, penalties, liabilities, costs and expenses (including, without limitation, attorney fees and costs) of every kind and nature whatsoever which may arise from or in any manner related (directly or indirectly) to the permit or the vendor’s sidewalk vending activities. This indemnification shall include, but not be limited to, damages awarded against the city, if any, costs of suit, attorney fees, and other expenses incurred in connection with such claim, action, or proceeding whether incurred by the permittee, city, and/or the parties initiating or bringing such proceeding.

E.    Each application for a sidewalk vendor permit shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee as established by resolution of the city council. The application and permit are only applicable to the individual(s) named on the application. If said permit is approved, the permittee shall also obtain a city business license to carry on the activities authorized by said permit. (Ord. 2020-118, 2-18-2020)


A.    Within sixty (60) calendar days of receiving a complete application, the city may issue a sidewalk vendor permit, with appropriate conditions, as provided for herein, if the city finds, based on all relevant information, that:

1.    The conduct of the sidewalk vendor will not unduly interfere with traffic or pedestrian movement or tend to interfere with or endanger the public peace or rights of nearby residents to the quiet and peaceable enjoyment of their property, or otherwise be detrimental to the public peace, health, safety or general welfare, nor shall it violate the provisions of the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

2.    The conduct of the sidewalk vendor will not unduly interfere with normal governmental or city operations, threaten to result in damage or detriment to public property, or result in the city incurring costs or expenditures in either money or personnel not reimbursed in advance by the vendor.

3.    The conduct of such sidewalk vending activity will not constitute a fire hazard.

4.    The conduct of such sidewalk vending activity will not require the diversion of police officers to properly police the area of such activity as to interfere with normal police protection for other areas of the city.

5.    The sidewalk vendor has not had a permit revoked within the past twelve (12) months.

6.    The sidewalk vendor’s application contains all required information.

7.    The sidewalk vendor has not made a materially false, misleading or fraudulent statement of fact to the city in the application process.

8.    The sidewalk vendor has satisfied all the requirements of this chapter.

9.    The sidewalk vendor has paid all applicable fees as set forth by city council resolution.

10.    The sidewalk vendor’s sidewalk vending receptacle and proposed activities conform to the requirements of this chapter.

11.    The sidewalk vendor has adequate insurance to protect the city from liability associated with the sidewalk vendor’s activities, as determined by the city, naming the city, its elected officials, officers and employees as additional insureds.

12.    The sidewalk vendor has satisfactorily provided all information requested by the city to consider the vendor’s application.

B.    A sidewalk vendor permit is nontransferable. Any change in ownership or operation of a sidewalk vendor or sidewalk vending receptacle requires a new permit under this chapter.

C.    All permits issued under this chapter shall expire on the date designated thereon, but in no event later than June 30 of each year. (Ord. 2020-118, 2-18-2020)


All sidewalk vendors are subject to the following operating conditions when conducting sidewalk vending activities:

A.    All food and merchandise shall be stored either inside or affixed to the sidewalk vendor receptacle or carried by the sidewalk vendor. Food and merchandise shall not be stored, placed or kept on any public property. If affixed to the sidewalk vendor receptable, the overall space taken up by the sidewalk vendor receptacle shall not exceed the size requirements provided in this section. If selling food, the vendor shall be in possession of a current health and safety permit issued by the Monterey County health department in accordance with part 7 of the California Health and Safety Code.

B.    The sidewalk vendor permit shall by displayed conspicuously at all times on the sidewalk vending receptacle or the sidewalk vendor’s person.

C.    Only one sidewalk vendor is permitted per permit.

D.    Sidewalk vendors shall ensure that all required insurance is in effect prior to conducting any sidewalk vendor activities and maintained for the duration of the permit.

E.    Sidewalk vendors shall not leave their sidewalk vending receptacles unattended for any reason.

F.    Sidewalk vending receptacles shall not be stored on public property and shall be removed from city property when not in active use by a sidewalk vendor.

G.    All sidewalk vendors shall allow a police officer, firefighter, life safety services officer, code enforcement officer, health inspector, or other government official charged with enforcing laws related to the street vendor’s activities, at any time, to inspect their sidewalk vending receptacle for compliance with the size requirements of this chapter and to ensure the safe operation of any heating elements used to prepare food.

H.    Sidewalk vending receptacles and any attachments thereto shall not exceed a total height of four feet (4’), a total width of three feet (3’), and a total length of four feet (4’).

I.    No sidewalk vending receptacle shall contain or use propane, natural gas, or other explosive or hazardous materials.

J.    If a sidewalk vending receptacle requires more than one person to conduct the sidewalk vending activity, all sidewalk vendors associated with the sidewalk vending receptacle shall be within five feet (5’) of the sidewalk vending receptacle when conducting sidewalk vending activities.

K.    Sidewalk vendors that sell food shall maintain a trash container in or on their sidewalk vending receptacle and shall not empty their trash into public trash cans. The size of the vendor’s trash container shall be taken into account when assessing the total size limit of a sidewalk vending receptacle. Sidewalk vendors shall not leave any location without first picking up, removing and disposing of all trash or refuse from their operation.

L.    Sidewalk vendors shall immediately clean up any food, grease or other fluid or item related to sidewalk vending activities that is discharged on public property. Failure to comply will result in the city taking appropriate action to clean the discharge at the vendor’s expense. The vendor permit will thereafter be suspended until such time as the expense associated with cleanup has been reimbursed to the city.

M.    Sidewalk vendors shall comply with the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and amendments thereto, and state disability rights laws.

N.    Sidewalk vendors shall maintain a minimum four-foot (4’) clear accessible path free from obstructions, including sidewalk vending receptables and customer queuing area.

O.    Sidewalk vendors shall comply with the noise standards provided in section 4.16.120, or any successor sections.

P.    All signage and advertising related in any way to the sidewalk vendor shall be attached to the sidewalk vending receptacle, if any, or the sidewalk vendor’s person.

Q.    Sidewalk vendors shall not use any electrical, flashing, wind powered or animated sign.

R.    Signs shall not exceed three (3) square feet; and no freestanding signs shall be placed on a public street or sidewalk. (Ord. 2020-118, 2-18-2020)


Sidewalk vendors shall not engage in sidewalk vending activities at the following locations:

A.    Any public property that does not meet the definition of a sidewalk or pathway including, but not limited to, any alley, intra-block walkway, square, street, street end, or parking lot.

B.    Within two hundred feet (200’) of the police station, fire station, or a permitted certified farmers’ market during limited operating hours.

C.    An area designated for a special event permit issued by the city, during the limited duration of the special event.

D.    Within one hundred feet (100’) of another sidewalk vendor, any police officer, firefighter or emergency medical personnel who are actively performing their duties or providing services to the public.

E.    Within twenty five feet (25’) of a fire hydrant, the intersections of a street and a sidewalk, any curb which has been designated as white, yellow, green, blue or red zone or a bus zone, automated teller machine, driveway, alley, or entrance to a parking lot or parking garage, trash receptacle, bike rack, bench, bus stop, restroom or similar public use items.

F.    Sidewalk vendors shall not sell food or merchandise or engage in any sidewalk vending activities at any park where the city has signed an agreement for concessions that exclusively permits the sale of food or merchandise by a concessionaire.

G.    Stationary sidewalk vendors shall not operate in designated residential zoning districts. (Ord. 2020-118, 2-18-2020)


A.    Sidewalk vendors shall not engage in any of the following activities:

1.    Renting merchandise to customers.

2.    Providing or offering a service that is neither defined as merchandise or food.

3.    Displaying or advertising merchandise or food that is not available for immediate sale.

4.    Selling alcohol, cannabis, adult oriented materials, tobacco products, products that contain nicotine or any product used to smoke/vape nicotine or cannabis, psychoactive bath salts, psychoactive herbal incense, and any synthetic drug referenced in chapter 5.60.

5.    Using an open flame on or within any sidewalk vending receptacle.

6.    Using an electrical outlet or power source, or water source, that is owned by the city or another person other than the sidewalk vendor. Vendor receptacles shall be self-contained.

7.    Harassment of customers.

8.    Knowingly making false statements or misrepresentations during the course of offering food or merchandise for sale.

9.    Blocking or impeding the path of the person(s) being offered food or merchandise to purchase.

10.    Touching the person(s) being offered food or merchandise without consent.

11.    Placing their sidewalk vending receptacles outside of any pathway or sidewalk when engaging in sidewalk vending activities. Additionally, sidewalk vending receptacles shall not touch, lean against or be affixed at any time to any building or structure including, but not limited to, lampposts, fire hydrants, benches, bus shelters, newsstands, trash cans or traffic barriers.

B.    Sidewalk vending is permitted during the following times:

1.    Within the commercial district during the same business hours of a majority of the businesses located within the district.

2.    Within residential districts, between the hours of eight o’ clock (8:00) A.M. and six o’ clock (6:00) P.M. daily. (Ord. 2020-118, 2-18-2020)

4.18.090 PENALTIES:

A.    As prescribed by state legislation, violations of this chapter may not be prosecuted as infractions or misdemeanors and shall only be punished by the following administrative citation and revocation structure.

B.    Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, any violation of this chapter shall be assessed administrative fines in the following amounts:

1.    An administrative fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00) for a first violation.

2.    An administrative fine not exceeding two hundred dollars ($200.00) for a second violation within one year of the first violation.

3.    An administrative fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each additional violation within one year of the first violation.

C.    If a sidewalk vendor violates any portion of this chapter and cannot present the citing officer with proof of a valid permit, the sidewalk vendor shall be assessed administrative fines in the following amounts:

1.    An administrative fine not exceeding two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) for a first violation.

2.    An administrative fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00) for a second violation within one year of the first violation.

3.    An administrative fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for each additional violation within one year of the first violation.

4.    Upon proof of a valid permit issued by the city, the administrative fines set forth in this section shall be reduced to the administrative fines set forth in subsection B of this section.

D.    The city may revoke a permit issued to a sidewalk vendor for the term of that permit upon the fourth violation or subsequent violations within one year of the first violation. (Ord. 2020-118, 2-18-2020)

4.18.100 APPEALS:

All appeals of administrative citations shall be conducted in accordance with the process established by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 2020-118, 2-18-2020)


The provisions of this chapter are meant to establish city regulations that are in compliance with the mandates of SB 946. To the extent the provisions of this chapter are in conflict with other provisions of the Gonzales City Code, and in particular, the provisions of chapter 4.16, Peddlers, Solicitors and Itinerant Merchants, the provisions of this chapter are meant to supersede conflicting provisions. (Ord. 2020-118, 2-18-2020)