CHAPTER 14
SIDEWALK VENDORS Revised 6/22

(Added by O-3851)

414.1.010 DEFINITIONS.

The following words and phrases, whenever used in this Chapter, shall mean as follows:

"Certified farmers’ market" means a location operated in accordance with Chapter 10.5 of Division 17 of the Food and Agricultural Code and any regulations adopted pursuant to that chapter.

"Director" means the Torrance Finance Director.

"Immediate vicinity" means the streets abutting an activity or event (and any contiguous parking areas) and the sidewalks on either side of such streets, and includes any open or unoccupied space between the activity or event and the abutting streets and sidewalks.

"Person" shall mean one (1) or more natural persons, groups, businesses, business trusts, companies, corporations, joint ventures, joint stock companies, partnerships, entities, associations, clubs, or organizations composed of two (2) or more individuals (or the manager, lessee, agent, servant, officer, or employee of any of them), whether engaged in business, non-profit, or any other activity.

"Roaming sidewalk vendor" means a sidewalk vendor who moves from place to place and stops only to complete a transaction.

"Sidewalk" means a public sidewalk or paved pedestrian path or walkway specifically designed for pedestrian travel.

"Sidewalk vendor" means a person who vends from a vending cart or from one’s person upon a public sidewalk, parkway, pedestrian path, or other public right-of-way available to pedestrians.

"Stationary sidewalk vendor" means a sidewalk vendor who vends from a fixed location.

"Strand" means the paved public right-of-way between the beach and the westerly property line of the properties nearest the Pacific Ocean.

"Swap meet" means a location operated in accordance with Article 6 of Chapter 9 of Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code, and any regulations adopted pursuant to that article.

"Temporary special permit" means a permit issued by the City for the temporary use of, or encroachment on, the sidewalk or any other public area, including, but not limited to, an encroachment permit, special event permit, or temporary event permit, for purposes including, but not limited to, filming, parades, or outdoor concerns.

"Vend" or "vending" means to sell, offer for sale, display for sale, or solicit offers to purchase food, food products, beverages, goods, or merchandise.

"Vending cart" means a pushcart, stand, display, pedal-driven cart, wagon, showcase, rack, or other non-motorized conveyance used for vending that is not a vehicle as defined in the California Vehicle Code.

414.1.020 PERMIT REQUIRED.

No person, either for themselves or any other person, shall conduct or engage in sidewalk vending within the City without first obtaining a sidewalk vending permit pursuant to this Chapter.

414.1.030 PERMIT APPLICATION.

To apply for a sidewalk vending permit, a person must file an application with the Director, or his or her designee, accompanied by a non-refundable application fee in an amount established by resolution of the City Council. The application shall be in a form prescribed by the Director and shall contain, at a minimum, the following:

a)    Valid identification, such as a California driver’s license number, California identification card number, an individual taxpayer identification number, or social security number;

b)    The legal name and current address and telephone number of the applicant;

c)    If the applicant is an agent of an individual, company, partnership, corporation, or other entity, the name and business address of the principal;

d)    The name and contact information of all persons that will be employed as roaming sidewalk vendors or at a sidewalk vending cart;

e)    A description of the food or merchandise offered for sale;

f)    The dimensions of the vending cart including a picture of the vending cart and any signs that will be affixed to the vending cart;

g)    A description of the location(s) or area(s) the applicant wishes to operate;

h)    The hours per day and the days per week during which the sidewalk vendor proposes to operate at the location(s) or area(s);

i)    Whether the applicant intends to operate as a stationary sidewalk vendor or a roaming sidewalk vendor and, if roaming, the intended path of travel;

j)    Whether the sidewalk vendor will be selling food, merchandise or both;

k)    If the sidewalk vendor is selling merchandise, a description of the merchandise to be sold. If the sidewalk vendor is selling food, a description of the food to be sold;

l)    A copy of a valid business license issued pursuant to the Torrance Municipal Code;

m)    A copy of a valid California seller’s permit pursuant to Revenue and Taxation Code Section 6067;

n)    Certification by the applicant under penalty of perjury that the information contained in the application is true to his or her knowledge and belief;

o)    If a vendor of food or food products, certification of completion of a food handler course;

p)    If a vendor of food or food products, proof of all required approvals from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health;

q)    Any applicable discharge permits, in compliance with Article 1 of Chapter 10 of this Division;

r)    An acknowledgment that the sidewalk vendor will comply with all other generally applicable local, State, and Federal laws;

s)    Any additional licenses from other State or local agencies to the extent required by law;

t)    A certification by the sidewalk vendor that, to their knowledge and belief, the information contained within the application is true;

u)    An acknowledgment that the sidewalk vendor will obtain and maintain any insurance required by the Director throughout the duration of any permit issued under this Chapter;

v)    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’s fees, disbursements and court costs) of every kind and nature whatsoever which may arise from or in any manner relate (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, attorneys’ fees, and other expenses incurred in connection with such claim, action, or proceeding whether incurred by the sidewalk vendor, City, and/or the parties initiating or bringing such proceeding;

w)    An acknowledgment that use of public property is at the sidewalk vendor’s own risk, the City does not take any steps to ensure public property is safe or conducive to the sidewalk vending activities, and the sidewalk vendor uses public property at their own risk;

x)    Any other relevant information required by the Director; and

y)    Any other reasonable information regarding the time, place, and manner of the proposed vending.

414.1.040 CRITERIA FOR APPROVAL OR DENIAL OF PERMIT.

The Director, or his or her designee, shall approve the issuance of a permit unless he or she determines that:

a)    Information contained in the application, or supplemental information requested from the applicant, is materially false, misleading, or fraudulent;

b)    The applicant has failed to provide a complete application, after having been notified of the requirement to produce additional information or documents;

c)    The applicant has failed to demonstrate an ability to conform to the prohibitions, restrictions, and operating standards set forth in Sections 414.1.100, 414.1.110, and 414.1.120;

d)    The applicant has failed to pay any previous administrative fines, complete any community service, and/or complete any other alternative disposition associated with a previous violation of this chapter; or

e)    The applicant has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, and has not subsequently demonstrated rehabilitative characteristics.

If the permit is denied, written notice of such denial and the reasons therefor shall be provided to the applicant.

414.1.050 PERMIT EXPIRATION AND RENEWAL.

A sidewalk vending permit shall be valid for twelve (12) months, or fraction thereof, from the date of issuance. The permit period shall coincide and expire concurrently with the City-issued business license and become null and void if the vendor fails to renew each year. Renewal forms will be mailed to the address provided by the applicant prior to the expiration of his or her active sidewalk vending permit. The annual permit is not subject to proration.

414.1.060 PERMIT RESCISSION.

The Director may rescind a permit issued to a sidewalk vendor for a fourth violation or subsequent violation of this Chapter. A sidewalk vendor whose permit is rescinded may apply for a new sidewalk vending permit upon the expiration of the term of the rescinded permit.

414.1.070 APPEALS.

Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Director to issue, deny issuance, or rescind a sidewalk vending permit may appeal the decision to the License Review Board. The appeal shall be filed with the City Clerk within fifteen (15) days following the date of the Director’s decision.

414.1.080 PERMITS NONTRANSFERABLE.

No permit granted pursuant to this Chapter shall be transferable. Any change in ownership or operation of a sidewalk vendor or vending cart requires a new permit under this Chapter.

414.1.090 PERMITS TEMPORARY.

Permits shall be considered temporary and non-permanent in nature and permittees shall have neither property interest in, nor any entitlement to, the granting or continuation of any such permit.

414.1.100 AREAS WHERE VENDING PROHIBITED.

a)    Vending Prohibited in Certain Parks. Stationary sidewalk vendors are prohibited from vending in parks or open spaces where the city has signed an agreement for concessions that exclusively permits the sale of food or merchandise by the concessionaire.

b)    Vending Prohibited Near Farmers’ Markets. Sidewalk vendors are prohibited within the immediate vicinity of a permitted certified farmers’ market during the limited operating hours of that certified farmers’ market. A "certified farmers’ market" means a location operated in accordance with Chapter 10.5 (commencing with Section 47000) of Division 17 of the Food and Agricultural Code, as may be amended, and any regulations adopted pursuant to that chapter.

c)    Vending Prohibited Near Swap Meets. Sidewalk vendors are prohibited within the immediate vicinity of a permitted swap meet during the limited operating hours of that swap meet. A "swap meet" means a location operated in accordance with Article 6 (commencing with Section 21660) of Chapter 9 of Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code, as may be amended, and any regulations adopted pursuant to that article.

d)    Vending Prohibited Near Temporary Special Events. Sidewalk vendors are prohibited within the immediate vicinity of an area designated for a temporary special event for the limited duration of the temporary special permit. Any notice, business interruption mitigation, or other rights provided to affected businesses or property owners will also be provided to any sidewalk vendors specifically permitted to operate in the area, if applicable.

A "temporary special event" is a permit issued by the City of Torrance, or the City’s agent, for the temporary use of, or encroachment on, the sidewalk or other public area, including, but not limited to, an encroachment permit, special event permit, temporary event permit, contract, license agreement, temporary use permit, or any similar approval for purposes including, but not limited to, filming, parades, sporting events, festivals, carnivals, or outdoor concerts.

414.1.110 RESTRICTIONS ON SIDEWALK VENDORS IN CERTAIN AREAS. Revised 6/22

(Amended by O-3901)

a)    Stationary sidewalk vendors are prohibited in areas that are zoned exclusively residential. This prohibition does not extend to roaming sidewalk vendors.

b)    Sidewalk vending is prohibited in areas with no sidewalks or with extremely narrow sidewalks (six (6) feet wide or less) since it unreasonably interferes with the flow of pedestrians and disrupts access for persons with disabilities.

c)    Sidewalk vendors will not engage in sidewalk vending activities at the following locations:

1)    Any public property other than a sidewalk including, but not limited to, streets, alleys, street ends, parkways, medians, parking spaces, squares, plazas, grass areas, lawns, and parking structures and parking lots owned or operated by the City, County of Los Angeles, or State of California.

2)    On any bike path, bike lane, sharrow, or bike trail, including, but not limited to, the bike path on or adjacent to the Strand.

3)    Stationary sidewalk vendors shall not operate on the Strand.

4)    On any portion of the public beach.

5)    Torrance Civic Center.

6)    Regional Transit Center.

414.1.120 OPERATING REQUIREMENTS.

a)    No sidewalk vendor shall vend in any of the following locations:

1)    Within five hundred (500) feet of:

A)    A permitted certified farmers’ market during the operating hours of the farmers’ market.

B)    A permitted swap meet during the operating hours of the swap meet.

C)    An area designated for a temporary special permit during the duration of the temporary special permit.

2)    Within two hundred (200) feet of:

A)    A police station.

B)    A fire station.

C)    A hospital.

D)    A regional transit center.

E)    Educational institutions, religious institutions, child day care centers.

F)    Another sidewalk vendor.

3)    Within one hundred (100) feet of:

A)    A police officer, firefighter, lifeguard, or emergency service personnel who are actively performing their duties or providing services to the public.

B)    A freeway onramp or a freeway offramp.

4)    Within twenty-five (25) feet of:

A)    A street corner, controlled intersection, marked crosswalk, or the curb return of any unmarked crosswalk.

B)    A traffic signal, traffic signal controller, or other emergency facility.

C)    A fire hydrant or fire call box.

D)    A curb that has been painted white, yellow, green, blue, or red.

E)    A bus stop, bus shelter, or bus bench.

F)    The entrance, exit, or emergency exit to a building, structure, or facility.

G)    Trash receptacle, bike rack, public restroom, park bench, or similar public use items.

H)    An automated teller machine.

5)    Within ten (10) feet of:

A)    A driveway, driveway apron, or alley approach.

B)    A utility meter, manhole, service box, streetlight pole, power pole, telecommunications pole, or other utility.

b)    Sidewalk vending shall be limited to the following hours:

1)    In residential areas, sidewalk vending shall be permitted between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

2)    In nonresidential areas, sidewalk vending shall be permitted between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. but these hours shall not be more restrictive than the hours of operation of other businesses or uses on the same street.

c)    No sidewalk vendor shall vend in a manner that blocks or obstructs the free movement of pedestrians or vehicles. Sidewalk vendors must at all times provide a clearance of not less than three (3) feet on all sidewalks or pedestrian areas so as to enable persons to freely pass while walking, running, or using mobility assistance devices and to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

d)    All food and merchandise shall be stored either inside or affixed to the sidewalk vending cart or carried by the sidewalk vendor. Food and merchandise shall not be stored, placed, or kept on public property. If affixed to the sidewalk vendor cart, the overall space taken up by the sidewalk vendor cart shall not exceed the size requirements provided in this Chapter.

e)    Sidewalk vendors shall provide a trash receptacle for customers in or on their sidewalk vending cart and shall ensure proper disposal of customer trash. Prior to leaving any vending location, the sidewalk vendor shall pick up, remove, and dispose of all trash or refuse generated by the vending operations or the vendor’s customers within a fifteen (15) foot radius of the vending location.

f)    Sidewalk vendors shall immediately clean up any food, grease, or other fluid or item related to sidewalk vending activities that falls on public property.

g)    Sidewalk vendors of food or food products shall possess and display in plain view on the vending cart a valid public health permit from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

h)    Sidewalk vendors shall possess and display in plain view on the vending cart or on the sidewalk vendor’s person at all times while vending a valid permit issued pursuant to this Chapter, as well as any other permit or license required by the City and any other appropriate governmental agency.

i)    All signage and advertising related to the sidewalk vendor shall be attached to the sidewalk vending cart or the sidewalk vendor’s person. No signs or displays may be placed on public property.

j)    Sidewalk vendors shall possess at all times while vending, current liability insurance.

k)    Sidewalk vendors shall comply with all applicable Federal, State and local laws, including without limitation State food preparation, handling, and labeling requirements; fire codes and regulations; noise standards; alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, cannabis, electronic cigarettes, smoking devices and controlled substances regulations; sanitation and health standards set forth in this Division; and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and other disability access standards (both State and Federal).

l)    All sidewalk vendors shall allow a police officer, firefighter, fire prevention specialist, code enforcement officer, health inspector, or other government official charged with enforcing laws related to the sidewalk vendor’s activities, at any time, to inspect their sidewalk vending cart.

m)    Vending carts shall not be chained, fastened, or affixed at any time to any building or structure, including, but not limited to, lampposts, parking meters, traffic signals, fire hydrants, benches, bus shelters, trash cans, street signs, trees, or other objects within the public right-of-way. No vending cart shall become a permanent fixture on the vending site or be considered an improvement to real property.

n)    Vending carts shall not be left unattended or stored on public property or within the public right-of-way. Vending carts shall be removed from public property when not in active use by a sidewalk vendor.

o)    No vending cart shall contain or use explosive or hazardous materials with the exception of propane.

p)    Sidewalk vendors may not place any type of fencing or other dividers around the vending cart.

q)    Sidewalk vendors may not place tables, chairs, shade structures, or other furniture around the vending cart.

r)    Sidewalk vendors shall not vend alcohol, cannabis, adult-oriented material, tobacco products, products that contain nicotine, any product or device used to smoke/vape nicotine or cannabis, or any weapons.

s)    Sidewalk vendors shall not vend live animals, wildlife, fish, fowl, or insects.

t)    Sidewalk vendors shall not block, obstruct, or impede the free movement of any person on the sidewalk or other public right-of-way.

u)    Sidewalk vendors shall not vend to customers in vehicles.

v)    Sidewalk vendors may not rent merchandise.

w)    Sidewalk vendors may not use an electrical outlet owned by the City or any other person. Sidewalk vendors may not run power cords or extension cords across the sidewalk or other public right-of-way.

x)    Vending carts may not be placed on and sidewalk vendors may not stand on areas improved with lawns, flowers, shrubs, street trees, or other landscaping.

y)    Sidewalk vendors may not attach or use water lines, electrical lines, or gas lines while vending.

z)    Roaming vendors vending in residential areas shall move continuously, except when conducting a sale, which must last no more than fifteen (15) minutes. In no event shall a roaming vendor conduct its operations in a residential area in such a manner to constitute operating in a fixed location.

aa)    Stationary sidewalk vendors who operate after daylight hours shall provide adequate lighting that may be necessary to ensure customer safety. Lighting shall be directed downwards and away from adjacent properties.

bb)    Sidewalk vendors may not vend out of a parked vehicle.

414.1.130 VIOLATIONS – PENALTIES.

a)    A violation of this Chapter by a sidewalk vendor who has a valid sidewalk vending permit from the City is punishable only by an administrative fine in amounts not to exceed the following:

1)    One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for the first violation.

2)    Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) for a second violation within one (1) year of the first violation.

3)    Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) for each additional violation within one (1) year of the first violation.

4)    The City may rescind a permit issued to a sidewalk vendor upon the fourth or any subsequent violation.

b)    A person engaged in sidewalk vending without a valid City sidewalk vending permit is punishable by an administrative fine in amounts not to exceed the following, in lieu of the amounts set forth in subsection (a) of this Section:

1)    Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) for the first violation.

2)    Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) for a second violation within one (1) year of the first violation.

3)    One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) for each additional violation within one (1) year of the first violation.

4)    Upon proof of a valid sidewalk vending permit issued by the City, the administrative fines set forth in this subsection shall be reduced to amounts set forth in subsection (a) of this Section.

c)    A violation of this Chapter shall not be punishable as an infraction or misdemeanor. No person alleged to have violated the provisions herein shall be subject to arrest except when otherwise permitted by law.

d)    Failure to pay an administrative citation issued pursuant to this section shall not be punishable as an infraction or misdemeanor. Additional fines, fees, assessments, or any other financial conditions beyond those authorized herein shall not be assessed.

e)    When assessing administrative citations pursuant to this Section, the hearing officer shall take into consideration the person’s ability to pay the fine. The City shall provide the person with notice of his or her right to request an ability-to-pay determination and shall make available instructions or other materials for requesting an ability-to-pay determination. The person may request an ability-to-pay determination at adjudication or while the judgment remains unpaid, including when a case is delinquent or has been referred to a comprehensive collection program.

f)    If the person meets the criteria described in subdivision (a) or (b) of Government Code Section 68632, the City shall accept, in full satisfaction, twenty percent (20%) of an administrative citation imposed pursuant to this Chapter.

g)    The hearing officer may allow a person to complete community service in lieu of paying the total administrative citation, may waive the administrative citation, or may offer an alternative disposition.

414.1.140 SIDEWALK VENDING REGULATIONS.

Sidewalk vending regulations are the implementation standards and specifications to assure compliance with State law, the Torrance Municipal Code, and the preservation of public health, safety, and welfare of sidewalk vending in the City. The sidewalk vending regulations, and any revision thereto, may be promulgated by the City Manager. Violations of the sidewalk vending regulations shall constitute a violation of this Chapter. All published regulations shall be filed with the City Clerk, be linked to the official website of the City, and be available in hard copy to any person upon request.