Mobile Food Vendor Crackdown

Ever since the City Council outlawed street vendors decades ago, explained Finance Supervisor Brenda Craig, pushcarts, food carts, and other mobile vendors have not been allowed to operate on Santa Barbara streets. Food vendor carts will come under scrutiny during Fiesta, warned the Santa Barbara Police Department. Such roving vendors face arrest, citation, or confiscation of their property if found around parades and Old Spanish Days venues by Police, Parks & Rec, or members of the Public Health Department.

Pushcarts are sometimes permitted for special events or nonprofit events, Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Riley Harwood said. But such dispensation has not been sought for Old Spanish Days. Harwood pointed out that food-cart owners often bring cart pushers from Ventura or Los Angeles to make sales in neighborhoods or at events like Fiesta. The handlers stay clear of the illegal selling, leaving their sales force vulnerable to the charge of sales without permit.

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