City holds workshop on potential sidewalk vendor regulations

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SAN DIEGO – If you’ve walked down North Harbor Drive, where the USS Midway floats tall, you might have heard a unique sound.

“I’ve been playing the fife since I was 11,” said musician Christopher Nawojczwk. He’s not out all the time.

“Once in a while, it’s a little fun gig I like to do.”

About 50 feet from where Nawojczwk plays stands a man named Anthony.

“Here’s a little kick and some cheese,” he said while ladling out corn into a cup and tossing toppings on.

“I’m out here seven days a week, sometimes until midnight,” Anthony said.

But how much longer can they keep it up? It may not be up to them. At a meeting across town Monday, workers from the City of San Diego hosted an informational forum about new restrictions that could be coming for street vendors.

“They’re looking to set some regulations on where and when,” said Beryl Forman, a supporters for the vendors.

A new state law that went into effect in January decriminalized street vending. The relaxed restrictions have resulted in more and more vendors taking to the streets, and the city hopes to put down some guidelines.

City employees brought with them a map of San Diego County. Some of it was covered in red zones which indicate restricted areas like Little Italy, Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, and places like Balboa Park, the Convention Center and Petco Park, depending on what time of year it is or if there’s an event going on.

“Ultimately, there’s contention about what should be adopted and what shouldn’t and that’s why we are out here tonight,” Forman said.

Monday night’s meeting was the second of three meetings that will take place around town to give vendors a chance to offer their opinions before the city makes its final rules by the end of the year.

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