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By Samuel Alioto
Observer Staff Writer 

As SMPD Busts Non-Permitted Vendor on the Santa Monica Pier, Protestors Try to Stop Them

Two young women try to interfere with Police as they confront the un-permitted fruit vendors

 

December 25, 2021

Santa Monica Close-up

SMPD Confronts vendor at the top of the Santa Monica pier

Santa Monica Police have towed away a van assisting non-permitted vendors on the Santa Monica Pier. Any day, 10 vendors with rainbow colored umbrellas, can be seen in front of the 120 year old wooden pier. The vendors have previously been allowed to sell food without any sort of health department monitoring, to the consternation of restaurant owners who are of course, heavily taxed and regulated.

Two or three young women tried to "interfere with an ongoing police investigation," snapping pictures and telling the officers to get to work. The SMPD officers asked them to back off and film at a distance, or face arrest. It is not clear what connection they had to the arrested vendor.

A 28 minute video documenting the arrests on the Santa Monica Pier's Youtube account. Santa Monica Close-up shot the video which may be seen at: https://youtu.be/5o00YMN4lx8. Below is the text accompanying the video:

Los Angeles County Public Health Deputies, in coordination with Santa Monica Code Enforcement Officers, Santa Monica Firefighters and Santa Monica Police Officers confiscate food from unpermitted food vendors around the Santa Monica Pier on Saturday, December 18, 2021. A vendor was detained, cited and his van was towed. Many citations were also issued.

The Santa Monica Pier has a worldwide identity. The City wants to preserve our decades old wooden Pier so it can be enjoyed for years to come. Because each unpermitted butane/propane cook-cart is a potential fire hazard for the Pier, the City's Code Enforcement, the County Health Department, and the City's Police Department periodically conduct educational and enforcement campaigns to help keep the Pier safe. This safety focus calls to eliminate all unpermitted carts, while addressing improper hot grease and trash disposal, and unsanitary food service conditions on and immediately adjacent to the Pier.

Street vending is restricted on the Santa Monica Pier. Prior to enforcement, the City of Santa Monica has been educating and warning the unpermitted street vendors for several month.

All vendors need a City of Santa Monica business license and vending permit to sell any items in the City, and vendors selling food must also obtain and display a Los Angeles County Department of Public Health permit.

Santa Monica Close-up

Young women confront SMPD as they try to do their job

As part of the City's program, sidewalk vending is restricted in certain congested, high-traffic areas to protect public safety. This includes on and around the Pier, where all vending is prohibited except the City's existing licensed vendor cart program, and the beach, Third Street Promenade, and Palisades Park, where stationary vending is not permitted.

In addition, a new ordinance passed on August 24, 2021, prohibits any person from using any combustible fuel (including propane, butane, any other liquid gas, kerosene, steno, charcoal or wood) on the Pier (including the Pier Bridge) or within 25 feet of the Pier, for any purpose involving tjhe fuel's combustion including heating, lighting, or cooking without a permit from the Fire Marshal.

Violations of the new ordinance may be handled as infractions, misdemeanors, or through issuance of administrative citations, in addition, combustible fuels used in violation of the new ordinance will be subject to impound by the Fire Marshal.

 

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