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Vending and Expressive Activity

SDUPD Code Section 8.05

San Diego Bay Fisheye aerial view

Vending and Expressive Activity Regulations 


The Port of San Diego (Port) manages the public tidelands of San Diego Bay in accordance with the California Coastal Act, the Public Trust Doctrine, and the San Diego Unified Port District Act (1962). In an effort to promote the public’s use and enjoyment of the Port’s parks and public spaces, the Port has created reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on expressive activity and vending in Port District Code Section 8.05 (SDUPD Code Sect. 8.05). The Port’s Parks & Recreation department administers the commercial vending permits under SDUPD Code Sect. 8.05, and the Harbor Police Community Service Officers (CSOs) are responsible for enforcement.   

click here to download 8.05 Ordinance / maps - Vending & Expressive Activity 

Latest Updates 

On November 14, 2023, the Board of Port Commissioners approved changes to the Vending and Expressive Activity regulations under SDUPD Code Section 8.05. The changes to SDUPD Code Section 8.05 include:


  • Modifications to existing Allotted Spaces: click here to see updated maps.
  • Allotted Spaces shall not be left unoccupied for 2 hours or more.
  • Extend current Commercial Vending Permits to December 31, 2023.
  • Beginning January 5, 2024, Commercial Vending Permits will be valid for one year.
  • Authorized Minimum Use and Occupancy Requirements, requiring for permitted vendors to vend a minimum of 5 hours a day 16 days a month.
  • Requiring all permitted commercial vendors to check-in and check-out each day they vend using their mobile device.

Opportunity Drawing for Eligible Commercial Vending Applications

To address the high demand from commercial vendors to operate in certain locations, and to allow for rotation and turnover of vendors in these locations, the Port will conduct an Opportunity Drawing to assign applicants an Allotted Space within a Designated Area. 

The Opportunity Drawing for the 2024 Commercial Vending Permit is closed.

The Commercial Vending Permit assignments for the 2024 cycle were drawn on Thursday, November 16, 2023. 


How to Apply for a Commercial Vending Permit

Applications for 2024 Commercial Vending Permits are closed. The next application period will begin in the fall of 2024 for 2025 Commercial Vending Permits. Updates will be posted on this page once available.

To apply for a permit, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the Port’s Service Portal
  2. Login to the Service Portal and complete the permit application 
  3. First time applicants will need to create a new account to get set-up in the Service Portal  
  4. Select the Event Type “Temporary Commercial Activity” when you fill out the application


Commercial Vending Permit Application Requirements

The following documentation is required to apply for a Temporary Commercial Activity Permit for vending from the Port of San Diego. Expired documents are considered invalid and will not be accepted.

  • Valid photo ID
  • Detailed description of all items that will be sold  
  • Valid Business License or Business Tax Certificate (from the city of San Diego)
  • List of Operating Personnel (maximum of 5, with valid photo IDs)

Additional requirement for food vending applications:  

  • A valid permit from the County Department of Environmental Health and Quality 

If your application is selected in the Opportunity Drawing, you will need to provide the following additional items before a permit is approved and issued: 

  • Certificate of Insurance 
  • Payment of $35 permit fee 
  • Signed Terms & Conditions document

How Can I Get Help?  

Get Application Help for Free 
For application assistance contact Logan Heights Community Development Corporation. Reach out to them at 619.858.0563 during business hours or email

Contact the Port’s Parks & Recreation department at or 619.725.6001. 



Timeline: 2024 Commercial Vending Permit 

The following timeline lists important dates and application deadlines for the Port’s 2024 Commercial Vending Permit. Be aware that dates listed below are tentative and subject to change.
September 2023: Educational Outreach to Vending Community 

Monday, October 2, 2023: Commercial Vending Application Portal Opens at 8 a.m.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023*: Board of Port Commissioners (BPC) Meeting 

Monday, October 16, 2023*: Public Education Workshop (in-person)

Sunday, October 29, 2023*: Commercial Vending Application Portal Closes at 11:59 p.m.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023: Board of Port Commissioners (BPC) Meeting

Thursday, November 16, 2023*: Opportunity Drawing Live-streamed Online at 4 p.m.

Friday, November 17, 2023: Workshop: Selected Vendors only (Port Administration Building)

Friday, January 5, 2024*: 2024 Commercial Vending Permits Become Effective

*Date is subject to change

What is Commercial Vending?

The sale of items that have functional utility and that are not primarily communicative in nature. This includes, but is not limited to, food, handcrafts, jewelry, candles, appliances, housewares, souvenirs, hats, sunglasses, and more.

Commercial Vending Time, Place, and Manner Restrictions   

  • Time: Sunrise to Sunset 
  • Place: Allotted Spaces within Designated Areas only 
  • Manner: Temporary Commercial Activity Permit Required 
  • Noise limit: 75 LAeq 3-minute average   




What is Expressive Activity?

All forms of speech and expressive conduct including but not limited to: 

  • Distribution of non-commercial information 
  • Solicitation of funds, subscriptions and/or signatures for a charity, religious organization, non-profit, or government entity 
  • Sale or performing of artwork, speeches, and/or performances that are inherently communicative in nature and have only nominal value apart from its communication

Expressive Activity Time, Place, and Manner Restrictions   

  • Time: 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. 
  • Place: Allotted Spaces within Designated Areas only 
  • Manner: First come, first served; no permit is required 
  • Noise limit: 75 LAeq 3-minute average 


Enforcement and Penalties 

Enforcement of SDUPD Code Section 8.05 is conducted by Harbor Police Community Service Officers and includes the following administrative fines for violations of the code:   

  • $250 – First Offense 
  • $500 – Second Offense 
  • $1,000 – Third Offense and thereafter 



Examples of SDUPD Code Section 8.05 Violations  

The list below is not exhaustive and is only intended as a resource to provide examples of potential violations. 


  • Exceeding the boundaries of an Allotted Space in a Designated Area  
  • Being set up in a location that is not an Allotted Space in a Designated Area 
  • Exceeding the Noise Limits  
  • Conducting activity outside the designated hours  
  • Being unable to provide proof of a Port-issued use permit 
  • Being unable to provide proof of a San Diego County health department permit to operate (if applicable)