Street Vendors on notice
m39.jpg (13027 bytes)by Ron Latimore
Acorn Staff Writer

The welcome sign is definitely not out in Westlake Village for street vendors, whether its flowers or hotdogs, according to last week's meeting of Westlake Village City Council.  One council member was not even very pleased about mobil carwash operators performing their services in office building parking lots.

A review of the current code by Hamid Arshadi, associate planner for the city, indicated that conducting a business upon public highways of local streets, sidewalks and parkways, is generally prohibited within the city.   Not covered is private property, including private streets. 

The topic of street vending has been on the agendas of at least two local cities in recent weeks.  Thousand Oaks and Calabasas.   T.O. is apparently considering ordinances governing vendors, and Calabasas, like Westlake Village, followed enforcement codes initiated by Los Angeles County.

Councilman Ken Rufener said he occasionally saw flowers being sold on the corner of Lindero Canyon and Agoura roads and a hotdog vendor on La Tienda Drive, but he wanted "low-key" enforcement.  Besides those two examples, he said that kids lemonade stands would also be affected.  "I don't want to see that change," he said.

Councilman Doug Yarrow said the ordinances addressed community standards.  While he did not want to see L.A. County Sheriff's deputies spending all their time on the matter, he wanted the codes enforced.   "I don't know where you'd draw the line," said Yarrow.

Councilman James Emmons agreed with Rufener about not wanting to over-regulate.  "What I see now doesn't disturb me," he said, but was worried by proliferation due to current economic conditions.

"I would prefer not to see this (ordinance) going onto private property," said Lance Winslow, a young entrepreneur who operates a fleet of 48 mobil carwash trucks.  "I understand totally what's going on, that this is Westlake Village," he said.

Winslow promised to wash vehicles only on private property and said he did not consider his operation being the same as hotdog salesmen or flower vendors.  "I want to stay way back from this."

Emmons, who had complained at a previous council meeting about the intrusion of mobil car washers onto office parking lots, jumped back into the dwindling discussion.  He asked Robert Theobald, city planning director, whether the width of shopping or office centers was not mandated.  Al;lowing carwashers to violate this was discriminatory against the property owner, Emmons said.   "I don't think it's fair under public policy."

This was the city's last council meeting until September, since it does not schedule meetings during the month of August.

Reprinted from The Acorn, July 29, 1992.

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