Business fees for vendors and peddlers operating in Uptown Whittier will jump from about $30 to $150 a year under a new ordinance adopted Tuesday by the City Council. The ordinance, supported by the Whittier Uptown Assn., also requires all vendors to move 200 feet every 15 minutes. And it allows police to do background checks and require fingerprints of all vendors who apply for operating licenses in the city.
Despite the fee increase, the ordinance is a victory of sorts for vendors because initially the Uptown business group had sought annual license fees of $300. Some members of the group have complained that vendors--unlike those with fixed businesses--pay virtually nothing to maintain the Uptown shopping district, yet profit from its village-like ambiance. Initially, the group also sought to restrict vendors to streets and require that they move more than 500 feet between stops. Some vendors suggested that the business group wanted to ban vendors from the city.
Under the new ordinance, vendors may operate on sidewalks and in front of schools.