By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ripon moves to allow sidewalk vendors
Sidewalk vendors similar to the one shown will soon be allowed in Ripon.

Soon it will be OK for sidewalk vendors to operate in Ripon.

The Ripon City Council on Tuesday approved the ordinance that complies with the “Safe Sidewalk Vending Act” – or Senate Bill No. 946 enacted at the beginning of the year – signed September 2018 by then-Gov. Jerry Brown.

According to Planning Director Ken Zuidervaart, a “sidewalk vendor” is described as a person who sells food and / or merchandise via pushcart, stand, display, pedal-driven cart, wagon and other non-motorized conveyance on a public walkway or other pedestrian path.

This state mandate was created to help provide entrepreneurial and economic development along more diverse food offerings in a safe public space while encouraging local authorities to support and properly regulating sidewalk vending.

Prior to that, the City’s municipal code prohibited stationary and roaming sidewalk vendors from operating in the public right-of-way or public property.

Some of the restrictions to this ordinance, which will be enacted in 30 days upon approval – elected leaders voted 5-0 in this case – includes “objective health, safety, or welfare” concerns regarding public right-of-way, the overall number of vendors operating in one jurisdiction, designated neighborhood or area, and even the time of day and place.

“Staff believes that the proposed regulations are limited to ‘health, safety or welfare’ concerns and will provide adequate protection of the health and safety of the community,” said Zuidervaart in his council report.

The passing of the ordinance has no direct fiscal impacts.

The permit fees that will be established by this resolution will cover the cost of staff time in processing the applications. However, it’s unknown if there will be any added costs for enforcement, Zuidervaart noted.