Mission Beach Press Conference: Illegal Street Vending
Updated: Jun 13
Press release follows photos below.
Contact for media:
Larry Webb, President
Mission Beach Town Council
MISSION BEACH TOWN COUNCIL CALLS PRESS CONFERENCE TO ADDRESS ILLEGAL STREET VENDING, INCREASE IN CRIME AND TO DEMAND THE CITY ENFORCE EXISTING CODE
MISSION BEACH, Calif. (June 9, 2022) -- The Mission Beach Town Council will hold a community rally and press conference calling on the city of San Diego to begin enforcement of existing laws that ban street vendors from Mission Beach Park.
When: Tuesday June 14th at 10:00 a.m.
Where Belmont Park - 3000 Mission Blvd.
On the grass at Belmont Park on the South Ocean Side.
SDMC 63.50 restricts the use of Mission Beach Park to:
(1) Public park and recreation uses such as grass, picnic areas, public open space, public parking, public recreation and meeting facilities. Expressly excluded are retail and commercial uses except within a historically rehabilitated Plunge Building which would serve park and beach visitors, such as restaurants, fitness center and the like.
Over the last several years Mission Beach Park and the Belmont Park area has changed from a place where families from all over the city would gather to enjoy one of the city’s most popular beaches to a place that is overrun by street vendors who block the public’s visual and physical access to the beach.
● Though the city is in the process of implementing new vending ordinances there is already an existing municipal code covering Mission Beach Park.
● The existing municipal code dates back to 1987 says “Expressly excluded are retail and commercial uses in…grass, picnic areas, and public openspace…”
● The press conference is to request the city to implement the existing municipal code now.
· In 1987 a voter approved initiative banned retail activity in Mission Beach Park. San Diego Municipal Code 63.50 and is included in the new city ordinance #21459SDMC San Diego Municipal Code 63.50 was incorporated into the Mission Beach Precise Plan and the city of San Diego’s Local Coastal Plan approved by the Coastal Commission which governs in matters concerning Mission Beach.
We believe that the city of San Diego has violated the California Coastal Act and the city’s municipal code for the last several years by allowing Street Vending which is an obvious retail use to take over Mission Beach Park.
Over the last several years we have seen this park change from a place where families from all over the city would gather and enjoy one of the most popular beaches in the city to a place that is overrun by street vendors who block the public’s visual and physical access to the beach.
The enforcement of the ban on street vending in Mission Beach Park is also a public safety issue. There is a direct correlation between the rise of violence and gun fire in and around Mission Beach Park and the influx of uncontrolled street vending over the last several years. This has resulted in a cost to the city of 1,000 of hours of police overtime to ensure the safety of all in the area.
The mere presence of graffiti (which appeared with much more frequency after the vendors appeared) doubles the number of people littering and stealing in neighborhoods, according to various research studies.
Further, by allowing unregulated and illegal activities, it opens the doors to individuals breaking other social norms and rules.
The Department of Justice describes the underlying causes of hot spots and crime as those places where routine activity helps to explain why crime is often concentrated in specific places. A hot spot is an area that has a greater than average number of criminal or disorder events, or an area where people have a higher-than-average risk of victimization. Mission Beach has become a hot spot and it has coincided with the influx of illegal street vendors which have given rise to higher rates of crime and higher perceived rates of crime. (Office of Justice Programs, Dept. of Justice https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/nij/209393.pdf)
Since illegal street vending began, Mission Beach has seen an increase in violent crime but more importantly, a rise in public sentiment that our community is unsafe. This has a down the line impact on mental health of residents, civic pride, economic development, and private investment.
Dirty streets are linked to deprivation and higher crime. The non-profit Don’t Trash Mission Beach will be there present with statistics about the 25% increase in trash over previous years that did not experience illegal street vending. Every day, trash cans are filled with food scraps by the vendors, trash receptacles are overflowing all over the grass and boardwalk, all the plastic wrapping is on the ground and food service with broken pieces of Styrofoam and vendors leave bags of trash to be dealt with by City workers and volunteers like Don’t Trash Mission Beach.
Vendors do not take pride of ownership of their spaces; they leave trash and debris everywhere after hours and before hours they leave all of their tents and other materials along the boardwalk, giving it an apocalyptic feeling that weighs on residents and other businesses and encourages crime after hours.
For more information about the Mission Beach Town Council, visit www.missionbeachtc.com
Link to Mission Beach Precise Plan – see page 47
Link to new Street Vending Ordinance – see page 23 (j)
Link to San Diego Municipal Code 63.50 – see page 42
Link to B-roll footage
About the Mission beach Town Council
The purposes of the Town Council is to provide a forum for discussion of community issues; to strive to reach all members of the community and communicate their views to the appropriate governmental officials and agencies; and in appropriate circumstances, to act on community issues related to: Health, safety and welfare of members within the community; Civic and educational growth within the community; Beautification and cleanliness of the community; Economic growth and environmental quality of the community, and Development of Mission Bay recreational area.