January 2008 – Ocean Front Walk Ordinance Still Being Debated

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There is no ordinance regulating the west side of Ocean Front Walk. The old ordinance was thrown out by the Los Angeles City Council as the result of a lawsuit brought by ACLU Attorney Carol Sobel on behalf of Venice vendors and activists, including Food not Bombs.

At a court hearing last month, the judge told the city to draft a new ordinance that does not conflict with the U.S. Constitution. 

The draft ordinance under consideration (LAMC 42.15) would divide the OFW into two sections, a P-Zone, for free speech activities, and an I-Zone, for vending. 

According to the draft, the I-Zone would allow vending, as follows:

Any person may vend the following items: expressive items which have been created, written or composed by the person, or are inextricably intertwined with the message of the person vending the items.  Such items may include, but are not limited to, books, cassettes tapes, compact discs, video digital discs, paintings, photographs and sculptures.  For purposes of this paragraph, expressive items shall be deemed to have been created by the vendor only if they have been predominantly authored, performed, recorded, filmed, or otherwise made or assembled by the vendor.       

The draft ordinance may be read at www.freevenice.org.

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