Draft Sidewalk Vending Ordinance Information

Published on May 10, 2023

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Why do we need a Sidewalk Vending Ordinance?

In 2018, California state law was changed to decriminalize sidewalk vending.  Cities must now allow sidewalk vending in many parts of their jurisdiction.  However, cities may still regulate sidewalk vending based on objective health, safety, and welfare concerns.

The Culver City Municipal Code (CCMC) currently prohibits sidewalk vending on sidewalks and in parks without City Council approval.  However, most of the City’s current sidewalk vending regulations are no longer enforceable due to the 2018 change in state law; thus, City staff prepared a new ordinance that complies with state law.

What is a Sidewalk Vendor?

Sidewalk vendors are individuals who sell food items and other merchandise on sidewalks and pathways from carts and other non-motorized transportation modes. Some sidewalk vendors are stationary, meaning they stay in one place, while others are mobile, meaning they move around the City.

Do we have Sidewalk Vending in Culver City?

In Culver City there are various sidewalk vendors selling a range of items throughout the community.  Some of the commonly seen products include individually wrapped ice cream products, cut up fruit, juice, and flowers.

What is the City doing to update the Culver City Municipal Code?

City staff recently drafted an ordinance regulating sidewalk vending. On February 13, 2023, a majority of City Council members approved the introduction of the ordinance and directed staff to delay enforcement for 60 days after the second reading (adoption) of the Ordinance.  The City Council date for the adoption of the Ordinance has not been set.

The Proposed Ordinance includes the following general regulations for sidewalk vendors.

All sidewalk vendors will be required to obtain:

  • City of Culver City Business License permit
  • State of California Department of Tax Fee Administration Sellers Permit
  • County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health Permit (for Food vendors)

Stationary sidewalk vendors are limited to sidewalks or pathways that are a minimum of eight feet wide and are outside residential areas.

  • All sidewalk vendors must allow four feet of clearance on the sidewalk for pedestrians to walk past.
  • Sidewalk vendors are not permitted on bike paths, certain trails, or on public property that does not meet the definition of a sidewalk.
  • Sidewalk vendors are not permitted at Carlson Park because the pathways are too narrow or at Coombs Park because there are no pathways.
  • Sidewalk vendors are not permitted in residential neighborhoods or near schools after 8:00 PM or before 9:00 AM.
  • Sidewalk vendors must comply with listed distance requirements.

What are the Next Steps?

City staff is currently providing notice of the proposed Sidewalk Vending Ordinance to sidewalk vendors and to the community.  If you wish to provide comments on the proposed Sidewalk Vending Ordinance, or if you would like notification of the date of the City Council meeting when the Sidewalk Vending Ordinance will be considered for adoption, please email the City Manager’s Office at city.manager@culvercity.org or call (310) 253-6000.  

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