Supes vote to crack down on street sales of stolen goods

Legislation would regulate street vending in The City

The Board of Supervisors passed legislation Tuesday backed by Mayor London Breed that regulates street vending.

The law specifies a time, location and other parameters by which street vendors must operate. Failure to comply will result in fines and possible confiscation of goods, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office said. Violations will not, however, result in criminal charges.

The Department of Public Works will work with community-based outreach teams to inspect goods and enforce the law, requiring proof of ownership of goods for sale or an authorization to sell the goods.

The mayor said the goal of the legislation is to support “legitimate” street vending.

The legislation does not apply to food vendors or artists, both of which are already regulated, the mayor’s office said.

U.N. Plaza will be vendor-free except on Wednesday and Sunday when the Heart of the City Farmers Market takes place.

Backers of the legislation say a saturation of street vending in various locations has impeded the ability of pedestrians, specifically people with disabilities, to use public spaces safely.

“Illegal street vending has also presented significant challenges for small businesses, including the increased inability to successfully serve customers coming in and out of the store due to a lack of physical space and illegal competition from the stolen goods being undersold,” the mayor’s office said.

The legislation was also backed by supervisors Ahsha Safai and Hillary Ronen.

“The streets of the Mission are in chaos and we cannot continue the status quo,” said Ronen. “The sidewalks are impassable, there is trash and debris everywhere, and street vendors are often selling stolen goods at half the price of the brick-and-mortar stores.”

“Immigrant owned small businesses that barely survived the pandemic have called me pleading for help. We must disrupt the status quo and this legislation strikes the right balance by restoring order on the streets while simultaneously allowing opportunities for street vendors to sell products, with a permit, in a more orderly way,” Ronen said.

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