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City looks to Carmel for new sidewalk vendor permit laws

SOLEDAD — City of Soledad used Carmel as the model for new sidewalk vendor permitting ordinances and a regulatory program.

Among the new changes to the sidewalk vendor ordinance are the prohibited vending locations throughout the city, operating conditions that must be met, requirements that have to be met before permit can be issues, and it also speaks to the differences between motorized and non-motorized vendors.

As for the fees, City Attorney Michael Rodriguez and Economic Development and Housing Program Manager Jennifer Nieto recommended the permit fee be set by resolution. In following Senate Bill 946, the city cannot set unfair fees that exceed the reasonable cost of providing services.

The City would not be able to regulate how many mobile trucks there are for one business, but they can ensure that the business is meeting health and safety codes.

“We did look at the Carmel ordinance,” Nieto said. “They did have a lot of things they’re using as public health safety concerns. We can’t make those same concerns so there’s a lot of things in there we can’t adopt.”

City staff did like the format of the Carmel ordinance and kept the permit process, application process, appeals process and the addition of administrative fines.

Little League and softball seasons are underway and the ordinance also speaks to those events. If the two organizations have a concessions agreement, then the sidewalk vendors and food trucks would not be able to sell food or drinks there.

The Sidewalk and Street Vendor ordinance will return to the council for a first reading in May.