No sidewalk displays for Hialeah street vendors

Hialeah street vendors will have to stick with goods they can carry.

Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal upheld a Miami-Dade Circuit Court decision blessing a Hialeah ordinance banning street vendors from setting up sidewalk displays.

Street vendors argued that the ordinance severely limits their ability to operate.

Part of the 2011 ordinance prohibits street vendors from setting up a stationary place on a sidewalk or private land not zoned for business. It also limits them to as many goods as they can physically carry. Some vendors erect a sidewalk display in addition to the wares in their hands. This allowed drivers paused at red lights or along the side of the road a fuller visual selection to tell the vendors what they wanted.

The city claimed concerns of safety and aesthetics when it laid down its vendor ordinance in 2011.

The appellate court ruled that the vendors failed to prove their contention that the ordinance has no relationship to a legitimate government interest.

“Protecting pedestrians, vendors and vehicles in the streets from accidents is” as well as enforcing the zoning codes are a legitimate government purpose, the appeals court said in its decision.

Flower salesman Silvio Membreno and the Florida Association of Vendors represented by the Institute for Justice filed suit against the entire ordinance in 2011. Adjustments made in 2013 didn’t fully satisfy vendors, who must get licenses from both the city and the county.

Both sides filed for summary judgment in civil court.