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New law could affect San Diego street vendors

It would affect what are primarily unlicensed sales at beach boardwalks, Balboa Park and near downtown.

SAN DIEGO — After months of accusations and debate, it appears that a new San Diego law could go onto the books next week regulating street vendors and various locations around town. It would affect what are primarily unlicensed sales at beach boardwalks, Balboa Park and near downtown. 

The battle could come to a head next week with a vote scheduled at city hall. Many who attended a meeting Monday night could be there to make their voices heard.

Ureal Morales said he supports his family with his hot dog stand at Petco Park.

"I lost my job in the pandemic and that's my only income right now," he said. 

Morales is uneasy about future restrictions.

"Yeah, I'm worried about the situation," he said. "I want to pay everything, fees, taxes, but I want to work." 

Brick and mortar businesses have been lobbying for more regulation of the carts and card table sales of t-shirts, jewelry, food, beach towels and other items. 

Mason Brown is one vendor who's tried to get ahead of the game by establishing himself as a licensed business owner.

"I'm worried in one sense because I want to keep doing what I'm doing but at the same time I think they'll come up with something good for vendors and people that want it to be regulated," said Brown with La Jolla Cove Headwear. "I can only do what I can do. Hopefully, that's enough." 

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria discussed his support of the issue with News 8's Carlo Cecchetto and Marcella Lee on segment Monday: 

"I look forward to providing sensible regulations that provide for micro-enterprise but at the same time, make sure that rights of way are acceptable to all members of the public," Gloria said. "I recognize that at some parks, including Balboa Park, that's not necessarily the case today. I think sensible legislation can provide that kind of relief." 

The new San Diego City Council president will be asked to delay the vote and send the bill back to committee for more vetting.

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