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Old 05-30-2008, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
10,658 posts, read 12,962,588 times
Reputation: 7680

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It seems to me that every day Los Angeles looks more like Tijuana, with people setting up impromptu businesses whenever and wherever they like. Note that we have zoning codes in Los Angeles which define commercial zones where businesses may be operated.

How would you like to be the homeowner of the house below and look out your front window to discover that your property now hosts a produce market? This picture was taken in the vicinity of Chase St. east of Reseda Blvd. in Northridge. Note that these are residential streets with nothing but single family homes for several blocks in every direction. It's a whole new level of Tijuanaification over the freeway offramp vendors that have popped up over the last dozen or so years.

I want to emphasize that these are residential streets, not major boulevards. No painted center line, little traffic, 25 mph speed limit, nothing but houses on both sides of every street for many blocks. This is not a busy thoroughfare nor is it near any commercial zone. It's several blocks from the commercial zone at Reseda Blvd. I wouldn't be so annyed if it were on Reseda Blvd. but I bet the real businesses would have had his axx kicked out if he'd set up there.

These impromptu businesses popping up in residential neighborhoods have been showing up here in the Valley and presumably all over Los Angeles over the last few years. Do they pay federal and state income taxes?



I encountered the gentleman below selling his drinks and ices in my own neighborhood. I asked him a few questions about his business but he was unable to communicate in English. Do you need a city permit to operate a street vending business? I don't know. Maybe he knew but he no habla.




I'm reminded of my childhood when my parents took me to visit Tijuana, reminded of the disorder and squalor and of the many street vendors plopping down their businesses presumably anywhere they wished, spreading out a blanket and laid out their wares and they had an instant store.

Tijuana is the ugliest city I've ever personally seen. Is Los Angeles next?

 
Old 05-30-2008, 09:34 AM
 
1,398 posts, read 5,950,472 times
Reputation: 1786
As a neighborhood activist and someone who has worked for a decade to improve the lot of all residents, homeowners and renters alike, in my Valley neighborhood, I am angry too. Here's two relevant sites, DeteriorationBlight and IllegalVendorValley posted with permission from the webmaster whom I know.

No, not a single one of these flagrantly illegal vendors is allowed. The United States has federal laws against selling uninspected food. All legal cart vendors have food preservation capabilities (legal hot dog carts are the most popular norm outside of L.A.) which prevent food poisoning of paying customers.

The illegal vendors fabricate all selling licenses posted, post unrelated health/business certificates, and have these bogus or unrelated licenses supplied by greedhead companies that ladle out the product. Many, many times the police used to bust these supply companies, which usually warehouse in residential neighborhoods from which the illegal vendors restock, only to find all their wares out in the open, under trees, with birds crapping into open vats of corn, etc. to sell to the unsuspecting public.

You know, there's a reason that the United States is considered a first world nation outside of politics, and that's our hard won standards of the law. We have food sanitation ordinances for a reason. You don't automatically get "tourista" from eating food in America. You will get it from unlicensed vendors like these. According to our city government, the largest single reason for food poisoning in children in Los Angeles is these illegal vendor carts and streetcorner uninspected food sales.

You would think anyone who is pro-poisoning children would be considered insane. BUT NO. Los Angeles government, which can be counted on to do the exact opposite of what would most help people in this city, concocted their own "Catch 22" to actually help illegal vendors poison children and others!

Six years ago, illegal vendors could be be arrested for selling uninspected food and their supplies confiscated, in the interest of compliance with Federal standards and public safety overall. Now, the city of L.A. has coupled police effort with requiring a City Bureau of Health & Safety/F.D.A. official, a Department of Transportation official (cart is mobile,) a Building and Safety Code Enforcement official (cart is on the median or sidewalk) as well as a police officer to be present at the time of arrest. Like that's ever, ever going to happen.

Before misguided "they're only trying to work" types defend utter disregard for the laws of the land and food sanitation in general, ask yourselves why anyone would choose to break the law to get money, be it robbery, swindling, or fraudulent sales of questionable food. It's because they don't care a whit about anyone other than themselves, with never a thought to the unsuspecting, buying public at large. That's not American enterprise, large or small. We don't condone robbing banks or poisoning people "to feed our family."

We're not talking about kids' lemonade stands here, we're addressing a gigantic, widespread uninspected food sales network throughout all of L.A. None of those illegal cart vendors you see is a single, owner-operated interprise. Wouldn't you rather your own children buy from licensed ice cream truck proprietors in safety, than what's considered the norm in the third world?

Last edited by fastfilm; 05-30-2008 at 10:06 AM..
 
Old 05-30-2008, 10:02 AM
 
Location: South Bay
7,074 posts, read 18,049,991 times
Reputation: 3291
Here's a novel idea to get them to leave your 'hood, don't buy their goods and make sure your neighbors don't either. Lack of demand will surely force the vendors to leave.
 
Old 05-30-2008, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Tulsa,Oklahoma
108 posts, read 269,118 times
Reputation: 50
I encountered the gentleman below selling his drinks and ices in my own neighborhood. I asked him a few questions about his business but he was unable to communicate in English. Do you need a city permit to operate a street vending business? I don't know. Maybe he knew but he no habla.

Yeah, but he sure knows some other words: "Free"..."Money"..."Medical"...and "Border Patrol"!!!

Last edited by LeftHook; 05-30-2008 at 10:43 AM.. Reason: add words
 
Old 05-30-2008, 10:51 AM
 
Location: The Powerhouse That Is California
145 posts, read 452,787 times
Reputation: 62
Theres vendors like that in most Mexican areas of San Jose as well. I don't have a problem with them really, just people making a living. Are they really "taking money out of your government" by slanging a few strawberries or cd's? I'd be more concerned about drug dealers..
 
Old 05-30-2008, 10:56 AM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 16,768,626 times
Reputation: 1879
yet its cute when a kid wants to open a lemonade stand infront of his house for .25 a cup
 
Old 05-30-2008, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Denver
8,990 posts, read 15,184,124 times
Reputation: 5158
The setting up in front of someone's house is unacceptable, I would call the police.

However, the gentleman selling "Aguas Frescas" is basically selling kool-aid on wheels.

If it were a White/Black/Asian selling it would you care?
 
Old 05-30-2008, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Guadalajara, MX
3,022 posts, read 5,433,986 times
Reputation: 2300
I think I'd understand better if the carts they peddled looked like unkempt garbage, they had a shirtless buddy with them drinking Corona and listening to the footie match, or had a female dressed in a thigh-high skirt and a tank top to try to attract male customers... but these two pictures you show look like quite respectable people with respectable "stores."

Aside from that, and maybe it's because I've traveled the globe frequently in my short life and find an appreciation for uniqueness and culture, I've seen this occur frequently and quite frankly, I've loved it.

To think, most of us would consider us libertarians (from both major parties), but yet we peddle the governments garbage about permits and beurocracy. Do I sense a slight flavor of Xenophobic Nationalism as we battle the "Border" question? I would think so.

I find myself disappointed in the posters.

P.S. Great point by the previous poster though I disagree with calling the police: Would you care if the person selling the fruit was a white male?
 
Old 05-30-2008, 11:12 AM
 
16,092 posts, read 35,295,630 times
Reputation: 6251
When my driveway is blocked by a car I really don't care what color the owner is..
 
Old 05-30-2008, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
10,658 posts, read 12,962,588 times
Reputation: 7680
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRinSM View Post
Here's a novel idea to get them to leave your 'hood, don't buy their goods and make sure your neighbors don't either. Lack of demand will surely force the vendors to leave.
I wouldn't even think of buying any of their products. Not only do they not appeal to me but I'd be concerned about the healthfulness of their wares. Do you want to buy fruit from one of those offramp vendors considering that there are no restrooms but PLENTY OF BUSHES next to the ramp?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhcompy View Post
yet its cute when a kid wants to open a lemonade stand infront of his house for .25 a cup
I have no problem with kids selling their lemonade in front of their home or in front of a neighbor's home with permission. My issues are with commercial operations in residential zones by UNDOCUMENTED businesses. I have an engineering consulting business and I am required to have a business license issued by the City of Los Angeles. I pay and they should pay too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach50 View Post
If it were a White/Black/Asian selling it would you care?
It is the act of uncontrolled street vending proliferating in RESIDENTIAL neighborhoods that offends me, not the race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender or political beliefs of the vendors. It annoys me that my own neighborhood is becoming a little more like a third world country every day.
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