BB&K Webinar Dec 11, 2018

Enforcement of Solicitation/Panhandling Regulations and Overview of SB 946 (Sidewalk Vending)

BB&K Free Webinar

The recent invalidation of the City of Sacramento’s aggressive solicitation ordinance in SRCEH v. City of Sacramento illustrates the dilemma faced by cities when trying enforce regulations that affect free speech rights. This webinar will provide an update on municipal efforts to enforce ordinances that may impact the free speech rights of individuals in their communities.


Tuesday, Dec. 11
10-11 a.m. (PST)

"Enforcement of Solicitation/Panhandling Regulations and Overview of SB 946 (Sidewalk Vending)"[PDF]
To view a recording of the webinar, click here.

Enforcement of Solicitation/Panhandling Regulations and Overview of SB 946 (Sidewalk Vending) generated a variety of questions. Due to time constraints, we were not able to answer them during the webinar. Here, Marco, Albert and Henry provide responses*:

1. Under Martin v. City of Boise, could a city prohibit camping in environmentally sensitive areas, such as creek beds?

Yes. A local jurisdiction can prohibit camping from certain parts of their jurisdiction. The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals stated that “[n]or do we suggest that a jurisdiction with insufficient shelter can never criminalize the act of sleeping outside. Even where shelter is unavailable, an ordinance prohibiting sitting, lying, or sleeping outside at particular times or in particular locations might well be constitutionally permissible.” Thus, cities may designate certain areas in their jurisdiction where camping is not allowed.

2. With regard to anti-camping regulations, please elaborate on the suggestion to include an “express necessity exception.”
The “express necessity exception” says that, if an individual is camping by necessity, for example, when every shelter in the local area is at capacity and the individual in question is involuntarily homeless, the provisions of the ordinance cannot be enforced. This would comply with the holding in Boise — that a person who is involuntarily sleeping/camping outside cannot be punished when no shelter space is available.
3. What about [sidewalk vending in] private parks? If the answer is “no,” what happens if the vendors go to these facilities? Could they be arrested for trespassing?
Section 51038(b)(2)(A) of the new state law states: “A local authority shall not prohibit a sidewalk vendor from selling food or merchandise in a park owned or operated by the local authority.” Thus, the legislation only applies to sidewalk vending in public parks and not purely private parks. Enforcement of trespass laws may occur.
4. Is it possible to restrict the number of vendors at a particular location — specifically one street corner?
Yes, indirectly. A city, county or city and county can place reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on sidewalk vending if they are objectively related to health, safety or welfare concerns. Therefore, separation requirements between vendors may be promulgated if the restriction is based on those concerns. These might include facts showing that an area may be so crowded that the separation requirements are needed to promote the pedestrian safety of persons and Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility requirements.
5. Does SB 946 apply to services such as pedicabs?
No. SB 946 does not regulate services such as pedicabs. It also does not regulate any activities on public streets.
6. Does SB 946 apply to special districts that own/operate public lands?
No. SB 946 only applies to “local authorities.” A “local authority” is defined as a charter or general law city, county or city and county.
7. What if the sidewalk is not sufficiently wide enough to accommodate both a vendor and the ADA path of travel requirements for wheelchair access?
SB 946 provides that a local authority may, by ordinance or resolution, adopt additional requirements if they are necessary to ensure compliance with the ADA and other disability access standards. If the sidewalk is not sufficiently wide enough to accommodate a vendor and a wheelchair, then that sidewalk (or portion of the sidewalk) may be restricted for use by sidewalk vendors. Local authorities can require vendors to vend in sidewalks that have certain minimum dimensions to ensure compliance with federal law.

*Some of the questions were edited for clarity.

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This webinar is approved for minimum continuing legal education by the State Bar of California in the amount of one (1) hour of General Participatory credit. Best Best & Krieger LLP certifies that this activity conforms to the standards of approved educational activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education. Best Best & Krieger LLP is a State Bar of California Approved Provider, #1035. Please note that CLE credit is only available to those who participate in the “live” webinar and Best Best & Krieger LLP is unable to provide credit to those who choose to view the webinar recording.

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