December 12, 2012

Task force suggests more limits on Portland street artists

The new rules will be taken up by the council’s Public Safety, Health and Human Services Committee in January.

By Randy Billings
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — A city task force is recommending tightening the rules for street artists, including banning them Belly Buoy Park – a hot spot during cruise-ship season.

click image to enlarge

In this June 5, 2012, photo, Portland code enforcement officer Chuck Fagone talks with Tara Michaud about new regulations for street vendors using city sidewalks to sell their wares to cruise ship passengers.

John Ewing / Staff Photographer

The Street Artist Task Force, which met Tuesday, also recommends prohibiting street artists from setting up their tables within 10 feet of an existing, non-food retailer and on sidewalks that are less than eight feet wide.

The task force also wants artists to register – at no cost at City Hall – and display a sticker on their tables.

The new rules are designed to improve safety, while protecting bricks-and-mortar merchants, said City Councilor Edward Suslovic.

Suslovic said that only artists who fit the U.S. Supreme Court's definition of art will be given permits, while other vendors will be denied.

The new rules will be taken up by the council’s Public Safety, Health and Human Services Committee in January, which could send a formal recommendation to the full council in February, Suslovic said.


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