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LA City Council OKs Plan To Decriminalize Street Vending

LOS ANGELES ( — The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday in favor of a plan to make street vending legal in the city.

The proposal - approved on an 11-2 vote - by Councilmembers Curren Price, Joe Buscaino, and José Huizar requested an ordinance to be drafted that would legalize street vending while a report is prepared on how to implement the program and an ordinance is written to give the Board of Public Works the power to issue permits for vendors.

KNX 1070's Claudia Peschiutta reported the draft ordinance expected to be voted on sometime in February would strip misdemeanor status and vendors would be issued tickets until a permanent permit system is established.

Under the plan, stationary vending such as taco stands would be permitted in commercial and industrial areas around the city, as long as the walkway is not obstructed, and only two vendors per block would be allowed.

Vending in most residential areas would be prohibited, though an exception could be made for smaller, mobile push-cart vendors.

Vendors will be limited to operating from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. except for special cases like sporting and entertainment events. The proposal also allows for the creation of special districts where more permissive or restrictive rules could be allowed.

Mike Dennis with the L.A. Street Vendor Campaign voiced support for decriminalization but requested changes to the proposed ordinance.

"We also want to make sure that two vendors per block is something that is reconsidered. It just doesn't work when you are looking at the city's blocks. It is a very diverse city and many blocks can accommodate more vendors per space,'' Dennis said.

The proposal also acknowledged President Donald Trump's stated goal of deporting immigrants with criminal records who are in the country illegally.

"Continuing to impose criminal misdemeanor penalties for vending disproportionately affects, and unfairly punishes, undocumented immigrants, andcould potentially put them at risk for deportation," the proposal states.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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