Mylor Davis, owner of Pots & Pans clothing, prepares his sewing machine on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Ocean Beach. The street vendor sets up a booth almost ever week to sell his custom designs. / Photo by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña

The San Diego City Council approved a set of rules Tuesday for how street vendors can operate on the city’s sidewalks. The vending regulations lay out a permitting process, ban vendors from certain areas and establish some entrepreneurship opportunities.

The long-awaited rules were touted as a compromise between the needs of the community and business owners — many of whom have complained of safety issues and loss of public space — and vendors who rely on sales to make a living.

“This ordinance will help provide the appropriate support to vendors while promoting equitable access to our public spaces and protecting the public health and safety of our communities,” Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell said during the meeting.

While some advocates felt that the rules laid out were too restrictive, others saw the implementation of the ordinance as validation that these types of businesses play a role in the local economy.

“Street vending is a legitimate form of entrepreneurship and it’s often the only viable path to start a business, especially those from less privileged backgrounds,” said Council President Sean Elo-Rivera. “The folks who are street vendors, at least in my district, are extremely hardworking. They bring vibrancy, community character and support to our local economy just like small businesses do because at their core, street vendors are small businesses.”

The ordinance passed 8 to 1 with Councilwoman Vivian Moreno voting no.

Read more about San Diego’s new street vending rules and the community’s response here.

Chula Vista’s Nonprofit Problem

Several local nonprofits say they have had it with the city of Chula Vista.

KPBS reports that multiple groups have struggled to work with the South Bay city.

Homeless-serving nonprofit Community Through Hope told KPBS the city once backed out of an offer to allow her group to sublease space and that it dealt with late payments. Then, during the pandemic, federal COVID funds that the nonprofit thought the city was giving it to support its food distribution program instead covered police officers doing traffic control during those events.

And arts nonprofit Love Thy Neighbor, which focuses on underserved youth, said the city also didn’t provide promised space and backed out a plan to allow it to set up a coffee cart business at local libraries as part of a job training program. Instead, the nonprofit’s leader said he was left with “a storage full of coffee equipment we spent thousands on” when the city stopped communicating with him.

KPBS also featured the Lucky Duck Foundation, which focuses on homelessness. Our Lisa Halverstadt broke the news last October that Chula Vista had decided to return a homeless shelter tent that the foundation agreed to allow the city to use free of charge. The city had initially planned to use the shelter structure by December 2020. Last year, the city claimed the nonprofit set requirements that the nonprofit argues it didn’t actually set.

In Other News

  • Months after students began complaining about water quality at a Carlsbad elementary school, NBC 7 reveals that the district is confirming that fresh and reclaimed water lines have been cross-contaminated.
  • The Union-Tribune reports on a new audit that pans the city’s handling of its roughly 800 leased properties, arguing it isn’t getting the most bang for its buck and that it rarely inspected its properties. (Warning: This one’s only for subscribers only.)
  • A lawsuit challenging the San Diego Humane Society’s policy of releasing cats without verifiable owners who are deemed healthy onto the streets is moving forward. (10 News)
  • The city is doling out another $6 million in COVID relief grants to small businesses and nonprofits and the City Council on Tuesday voted to accept another $8.3 million in federal COVID rental and utility assistance. (City News Service, KPBS)
  • The Union-Tribune pulled back the curtain on the downtown Seaport Village revamp that is now set to span 105 acres and include more than 2,000 hotel rooms, an observation tower, a public beach and more. (Warning: This one’s also only for subscribers.)
  • Last month was one of the warmest and one of the coldest Februarys on record in San Diego. (City News Service)
  • County supervisors on Tuesday voted to ban county investments in fossil fuels. (City News Service)

This Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. It was edited by Megan Wood.

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