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In L.A.:Legal for businesses to put out umbrellas, tables and chairs on the sidewalk where you can barely squeeze by?

Los Angeles, CA |

I live behind a liquor store who started with an umbrella, table and chairs next to his building and has now did the same toward the curb. This is in addition to a sign for passing cars advertising his store. He is copying several other businesses on this block doing the same thing. A coffee shop set up so much stuff that with the bus stop bench there, you practically have to walk on the street to get by.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. If you are concerned that this is a public safety hazard, you should report it to Code Enforcement or the police department. They will know whether this is allowed, and will make the owners stop if it is not.

    The opinions expressed are of general legal principles, and are not specific to the laws of any state or other jurisdiction. I am licensed only in California.


  2. Food sellers and other retailers must have permits for sidewalk seating and/or serving, and the space and number of seats and tables is strictly limited. Contact your local police department or the staff-person for constituent services in your City Council district and ask that the retailer's encroachment be compared with the authorization on file for that use by that address. If the retailer's use of sidewalk space is within the allowed authorization, ask your city council district office to consider whether the authorization needs to be scaled back.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.


  3. Agree with the others, but add that if they are serving liquor, there may be special rules that apply that may not be applicable to other eateries, even if they do allow sidewalk seating. So check that angle as well.

    Good luck.

    This response is not to be construed as establishing an attorney-client relationship, and provides general information on the subject at hand only.