Service activities in parks are next to face regulations under San Diego vending law

The city of San Diego, which will begin enforcing the sidewalk vending ordinance in its coastal parks on Wednesday, February 1, is already looking ahead to the next challenge of regulating service-based commercial activity in public parks.

Several members of the La Jolla Parks & Beaches board said this week that park vendors that offer services rather than goods (yoga classes, pop-up picnics, beach bonfires, etc.) would be regulated under the ordinance. I asked if there was Effects in coastal areas, including La Jolla.

However, the ordinance focuses on the exchange of money for goods and does not cover services or activities protected by the First Amendment.

At the La Jolla Parks & Beaches conference on January 23, trustee John Shannon noted that some commercial activities are providing QR codes so that attendees can donate, which can be used in vending machines. I questioned whether it would be considered He suspected that Bender was in a “gray zone.”

Director Melinda Merryweather said several local businesses provide services at the park and wondered if that would be covered by the ordinance.

Steve Hadley, who represents the office of City Councilor Joe LaCaba, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, said: “That’s the next battle.”

According to Hadley, the city typically requires service providers to obtain commercial sales licenses, but “but COVID has caused a surge in outdoor classes, with reservations for spaces on the beach and other services being addressed. There is.”

Alderman Jennifer Campbell’s chief of staff, Venus Molina, said she helped broker a deal with the California Coastal Commission to allow enforcement of the ordinance in the coastal zone. la jolla lights The city is meeting with representatives of coastal communities and service providers to gather feedback on how these activities should be managed.

“Once they start charging, [goods], it’s a vending machine,” said Molina. “And those who do must apply for vendor licenses and follow local laws.

“But with services, it’s completely different. Those people are not yet regulated and we definitely need to regulate those businesses as well. These people will need permits.”

She added that any commercial activity soliciting donations in lieu of a set fee is not considered a sale.

The city council passed the ordinance on March 1st and it went into effect in most of the city on June 22nd. But that restriction, which primarily focused on where vendors could operate, could not be enforced in coastal areas pending review by the Coastal Commission. The commission he withdrew its review in August and agreed to allow enforcement in coastal areas.

The ordinance includes permits and health and safety regulations, including Scripps Park in La Jolla, the Children’s Pool, the boardwalk on Coast Boulevard between Jenner and Cuvier streets, and several major business districts. block sales on major thoroughfares year-round. La Jolla Shores, according to local officials. Vendors will be allowed to continue operating at intersections and side streets in these areas.

“When it comes to services…those people are not yet regulated, and those businesses definitely need to be regulated as well. These people will need permits.”

— Venus Molina, Chief of Staff to San Diego City Councilman Jennifer Campbell

Lauren Kimmons, owner of Pop Up Picnic Co., which offers picnic experiences at La Jolla’s coastal parks, is in talks with the city and will soon announce how her business will be regulated. hope to get some guidance from you.

“It’s terrible for me because I don’t have clear information for my employees and clients,” she said. “We’re trying to come up with solutions that benefit people, especially the millions of San Diegans who live in the area but don’t live directly on the beach.

Kimmons said he is willing to obtain permits if necessary, but he hopes there will be a vetting process and minimal regulation for responsible operators.

“If you can complete all the steps and show that you’re a good actor, I hope the regulations shouldn’t be too strong,” she said. Our footprint isn’t that big because we’re just a few businesses doing business, but too much regulation hurts businesses and impairs people’s ability to access the beach.”

She added that she was happy to see businesses that did not comply with local laws cease operations.

“One of the unfortunate things is that people jumped into this creative selling space because the barriers to entry were low. But they didn’t have licenses or insurance, so it’s a mixed bag.” Kimmons said.

Before the sidewalk vending ordinance was adopted, the city established a process for ocean-related classes and certain commercial activities on the beach itself. Focuses on kayaking lessons. A concessionaire can apply for a permit if certain conditions are met, and once the permit is obtained, commercial activities can be carried out on the city’s beaches. ◆

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