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Council to Consider Overturning Law Targeting Street Side Solicitors

The city began researching the law, which was adopted in 1995, after receiving a letter from the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund in March.

A law that bars day laborers from asking for work and other solicitors from Calabasas roadways and street corners will go back before the Calabasas City Council next week for possible repeal.

The council will consider overturning Calabasas Municipal Code 9.08.020, known as the street side solicitation ordinance, at its regular meeting, which is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22 at .

The ordinance states:

Solicitation of persons traveling in vehicles on public right-of-way prohibited.

It is unlawful for any person, while standing in any portion of the public right-of-way, including but not limited to public streets, highways, sidewalks and driveways, to solicit, or attempt to solicit, employment, business, or contributions of money or other property, from any person traveling in a vehicle along a public right-of-way, including, but not limited to, public streets, highways or driveways.

The city received a letter on March 20, along with a number of other cities, from the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund asking for the repeal of street side solicitation regulations, according to a city staff report prepared by Calabasas City Attorney Scott Howard. 

A recent court case on a similar Redondo Beach ordinance was ruled an unconstitutional restriction on day laborers' and other persons’ First Amendment rights.

"The court noted the city had failed to provide sufficient evidence of problems caused by day laborers or other street side solicitors to justify either a city-wide ban," Howard wrote in the report.

According to Howard, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which contracts with Calabasas for its policing services, reported "there is no significant problem associated with street side solicitors in the city."

He recommended that the council repeal the law.

Calabasas City Manager Tony Coroalles said the law was originally adopted in 1995 and most likely mirrored a section of the Los Angeles County code.

Someone August 19, 2012 at 04:52 AM
Overturn the plastic bag ban!
Zoran August 19, 2012 at 04:16 PM
We are not independent but we are interdependent of each other. How it plays out depends how we see it and how we navigate with this very important decision. Everything should be considered and yes we also help those less fortunate than us, that's compassion in leadership.
Rick Petitfils August 19, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Are we turning into a 3rd world city? Almost all street vendors are illegal aliens. Lets support our licensed legal vendors in the city of Calabasas. I see in Agoura solicitors at Uhaul urinating in the bushes, leering at the women jogging by. The sheriff does nothing about illegals.
Scott G. August 22, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Being compassionate is one thing but opening our streets to solicitation based upon the threat of a lawsuit is another. Allowing people to solicit employment or "contributions" from vehicles or others on the same street is a recipe for disaster. Do we really want to risk turning the area around the Commons, for example, into a haven for vagrants who cast themselves as "seeking employment" or undocumented workers who wait in the shade for a pickup truck to come by and offer them day work? What about traffic problems caused by these spurious stops? What about litter, the need for bathrooms and other personal requirements? You can get a glimpse of the result of this by going to Agoura Rd. between Kanan and Reyes Adobe. Groups of undocumented workers hang out there all day waiting for someone to hire them. It's unsightly, a traffic hazard and encourages loitering. Surely there is a better way to handle this than to simply open the city's streets to anyone and everyone who wishes to use the public thoroughfares as their personal office or pickup spot.

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