Ed Bedford 11:44 p.m., June 19
Port issues new rules for bayfront performers, artisans
The Port of San Diego has announced a revision to its ordinance regulating performance artists and vendors on the San Diego Bay waterfront, which will take effect this Friday, September 14.
The new regulations will restrict vendors, artists, and performers to one of 77 spaces in 14 locations around the bay in San Diego, Chula Vista, and Coronado. These spaces will range in size from four to ten feet square, and are to be available on a first-come, first-served basis, with no one being allowed to attempt to reserve spaces before sunrise or after sunset.
Items being sold or distributed must be the creation of the person selling them, unless they “contain or convey a political, religious, philosophical, or ideological message which is permanent, readable or recognizable from a reasonable distance, and which is informative of the purpose of the Person.”
Banned items for sale include house wares, clothing and sunglasses, incense, crystals, handcrafts (including jewelry), souvenirs, toys, stuffed animals, and any food products, including water.
The Port came under fire earlier this year for awarding a contract covering food and beverage sales to a company called Quality Coast Inc., when other vendors complained of not being provided ample opportunity to bid on the right to provide concessions and some artisans questioned whether Quality Coast would end up with the exclusive rights to all non-permanent commercial activity on Port land.
At the time, owners of permanent storefronts complained that the mobile vendors were siphoning business from their stores, a concern that the ruling banning most of the artisans peddling handcrafted jewelry and trinkets seems to address.
“One of the key goals of the update is to support an active, vibrant and safe waterfront in a fair and equitable manner,” said Board of Port Commissioners chair Lou Smith in a release.