PALMDALE — With the backing of numerous vendors, the City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved an ordinance setting permitting and other regulations regarding street and mobile food vendors.
Some proposed changes to the Palmdale Municipal Code are to bring the regulations in line with changes to state law, officials said.
Others are in response to concerns raised due to the growing number of such businesses in the city, including concerns that some are operating in a way that poses an imminent threat to public heath and safety, are generating noise and disturbance complaints in residential areas and because there’s been an increase in littering due to a lack of trash cans where some of these vendors operate.
To address these concerns, the ordinance outlines certain operational standards, including times and areas of operation, size limitations on carts and requiring vendors to provide trash cans. It also details areas where vendors are not permitted to operate for health and safety reasons, according to the staff report.
The new ordinance also streamlines the permitting process for these types of businesses.
A vendor must first obtain a permit from the Los Angeles County Health Department, then obtain a business license from the city, Community Compliance Manager Sara Gallagher said.
In that second process, city officials will work with the vendors on where they may operate, depending on the type of vehicle or food being sold.
The business license application has also been updated and made clear that a Social Security number is not required and an Individual Taxpayer ID is accepted, Gallagher said.
Applications, information on the permitting and licensing and the entire ordinance is available in English and Spanish.
The regulations were developed with input from vendors and other stakeholders, officials said.
About a dozen people, including a large number of vendors, spoke on the ordinance, nearly all in support.
“We want just to work,” a vendor named Adolfo said, through an interpreter. He did not provide his last name. He said the ordinance will allow them to work legally and may even be able to grow their businesses.
Councilmember Austin Bishop said Palmdale does not have a lot of street vendors and this gives them the opportunity to operate legitimately, while giving them a fair chance at a business license and “everything else that they are entitled to.”
He also said it will add an element of safety for vendors and customers by regulating where they may operate.
Bishop expressed concern, however, about the many pockets of unincorporated county within the city where the ordinance will not apply, and how that could unfairly disadvantage those within the city limits. He suggested the city research whether it could apply its sphere of influence to bring these areas under the regulations.
Gallagher said code enforcement works closely with their Los Angeles County counterparts on permitting and enforcement.
In addition to the regulations that are specific to mobile food vendors, the proposed ordinance includes regulations on all food facilities — including restaurants, vending machines, Farmers markets and others — to allow for inspections and provide greater enforcement options for violations, including closing facilities.
These regulations stipulate Los Angeles County as the primary enforcement authority, but also allows the city an enforcement role when it comes to imminent health and safety hazards.
When the Poppies bloom he will make a Fortune...if he sets up along, West Ave I
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