On Sunday, July 5, at approximately 2:30 p.m., a sidewalk peddler was spotted on the southwest corner of Tenth Avenue and J Street hawking “ice cold water and Gatorade” to baseball fans walking around Petco Park.
According to locals, it was the second consecutive day that this man was seen selling his goods to the people in the area. San Diego police were called to the scene and no citation was issued to the vendor.
“The police came and they chatted with the man for a bit and then they left, and he kept on selling,” stated an eyewitness. A dispatcher with the SDPD non-emergency line said that the man checked out okay and that either he or an organization he’s with has the proper paperwork to sell on the sidewalk.
Despite receiving assurance that the man was operating legitimately, business owners refused to believe the SDPD declaration and remained angry at the man’s presence.
“I’m upset,” said a manager from a nearby business. “I don’t understand how it’s okay for some guy to stand in a corner with cases of drinks and sell them to people that way. The rest of us have permits and storefronts, and we pay a lot of money in rent. To see this guy come in and try to capitalize on the extra foot traffic doesn’t seem fair.”
Section 33.1406 of the San Diego Municipal Code affirms that soliciting and peddling is prohibited in a wide area covering downtown, including the area in question, the corner of Tenth and J.
Further, the Petco Park Event and Management Plan states that, “illegal vending on public property and outdoor spaces, unauthorized special events, illegal signage and promotions as well as activities deemed to be ambush marketing, and activities detrimental to the public health, welfare, and safety of those businesses, residents, and visitors within the Ballpark Protection Zone will not be allowed.”