Sidewalk vendors in Mission Viejo will be required to cover up items that display profane words or images or face fines up to $500, thanks to a new city ordinance meant to protect children from seeing “harmful material” in public, the city announced Wednesday.

According to the new law, which will be enforced starting this week, vendors must block from public view the bottom two-thirds portion “of any vulgar or profane word, depiction, photo or graphic,” the city said in a statement. The vendors can also cover the items entirely to comply with the ordinance.

The Americans With Disabilities Act also requires sidewalk vendors to leave at least four feet of a sidewalk open, and they cannot set up booth on a curb ramp.

Though state law does not require the vendors to obtain a permit from the city to operate and sell merchandise, “those sidewalk vendors displaying harmful material to minors in the public view could face Municipal Code citations of up to $500,” the city said.

Residents or vendors with questions on the new city law can contact PublicWorks@cityofmissionviejo.org or call 949-470-3056.

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