Illegal street vendors in San Marcos to be targeted on Valentine’s Day

Traditional businesses hurt by roadside sellers, City to step up code enforcement

San Marcos, CA – San Marcos officials would like to remind the community that selling flowers or other merchandise from the public right-of-way is illegal in the City. The City encourages shoppers to patronize licensed merchants in San Marcos. Local florists have historically stated that they lose a tremendous amount of sales each holiday to illegal street vendors on Rancho Santa Fe Road and other main thoroughfares throughout the City.
In support of its licensed local business community, the City will spearhead a special enforcement operation on Valentine’s Day called “Operation Petal Pusher.” Citations will be issued to illegal street vendors for violation of the City’s street sales ordinance.
Residents can help in this effort by reporting illegal street vendors to the City’s code compliance division at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3206.
The City issued 11 notices of violation last year to illegal flower vendors. The vendors had all come from stores and wholesale businesses outside of San Marcos.
Local vendors are required by City ordinance to possess a valid business license and conduct all sales from within a building unless a conditional use permit is issued, which allows outside sales. City codes do not allow any person to attempt to conduct business with any person who is in a motor vehicle in the traveled potion of a public roadway.
“Illegal vendors who conduct business on our roadways not only hurt our local businesses, but they create safety hazards and traffic congestion in our community,” explained Director of Housing and Neighborhood Services Division Karl Schwarm.
Illegal street vendors also fail to pay sales tax on their transactions like traditional retailers. This impacts the City’s general fund for important community services like law enforcement, fire protection and recreational offerings.
For more information, please call Karl Schwarm at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3108.

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