The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a new Ocean Front Walk ordinance limiting commercial vending on the Venice Beach boardwalk.
The ordinance seeks to "restrict vending, regulates performing and prohibits the generation of excessive noise on the Venice Boardwalk and adjacent beach and public spaces."
The ordinance amending Los Angeles Municipal Code 42.15 has been revised several times since 2006, disputed and even blocked by a federal court on the grounds of being unconstitutional.
The latest ordinance also came with controversy Tuesday with more than 30 people offering public comment, with many against it.
Supporters of the ordinance, including Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, have said it is necessary due to safety issues on Ocean Front Walk. The Los Angeles Police Department recently has seen a considerable uptick in the amount of transients in the area and an increase in aggrevated assault by 16 percent, said Capt. Jon Peters of the LAPD during the City Council meeting.
The new ordinance revises and defines the exact items that will be prohibited and allowed to be sold on 205 spaces on the western side of the boardwalk. The ordinance would ban the sale of clothes, sunglasses, incense, candy, jewelry and toys. It also would prohibit massages and skin ink.
Vendors will still be able to sell books, paintings, recordings, sculptures or other works they have created.
Spaces also will be reserved for traditional speech activities, including the distribution of newspapers, fliers, pamphlets, bumper stickers and patches. The ordinance also would set aside two spaces on the Venice Beach boardwalk for food distribution.
The ordinance will do away with the lottery system of permitting, largely reverting to the ordinance put forth in 2006, which was upheld in the Ninth Circuit Appellate Court, said Assistant City Attorney Valerie Flores.
The ordinance was sent immediately to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has 10 days to sign it. The City Clerk will then publish the ordinance and the city can start enforcing it 31 days after publication, Flores said in an email. Signs will be posted on the day the city can begin enforcing the ordinance, Flores said.
Correction: The last paragraph has been updated to correct when the ordinance will be enforced. A previous version had inaccurate information provided by the city. The fourth paragraph was previously updated to clarify that many, not most, speakers were against it.
An updated, fuller version of this story is available here.