The City aims to ban food trucks in some areas, limit serving time, require expensive permits

February 7, 2014

Keep Food Trucks smallerWe have learned that next Wednesday, February 12, a council committee will discuss new regulations governing food trucks in San Diego.

The proposed regulations would basically ban food trucks from operating in the Gaslamp, Little Italy, and parts of OB, PB, Mission Beach, La Jolla, Mission Bay, Torrey Pines, and UCSD, SDSU, and USD. This will affect both gourmet trucks and traditional route trucks.

Major items of concern from the current draft regulations:

  • Hours of operation will be limited to 6am-10pm Sun-Thurs, and 6am-11pm on Fri-Sat, and trucks must stay at least 500 feet from any dwelling unit.
  • Commercial properties looking to host a food truck will be required to obtain a $500–$1,000 permit for each location (the burden of this permit will likely fall on the food truck owner).
  • Private catering is limited to one event per week at any office, or one event per month at any residence.

Food truck owner Christian Murcia said, “[The proposed ordinance] is anti-competitive and discriminatory to enforce rules on food trucks that do not apply to other businesses in adjacent areas…Other rules already regulate concerns related to public safety; this does not do anything to further it.” source

Many groups are lobbying against food trucks in these issues (property owners, restaurant association, BID’s, and restaurant owners). All of these groups have a lot of pull with the city, so the best chance for success is having the community show their support.

The proposed food truck regulations will be up for vote to head to City Council in March. This is basically the last meeting for any changes to be made to the drafted food truck laws.

How Can You Help?


Attend the Meeting. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend to show their support. Here are the meeting details:

Smart Growth and Land Use Committee
Wednesday, February 12
202 C Street, 10th Floor, San Diego, CA 92101
The meeting will begin at 2:00pm.

Call the city councilmembers. These three have the power on this committee to stop these proposed rules from becoming law:

Councilmember Myrtle Cole: (619) 236-6644. @CD4MyrtleCole
Councilmember Lorie Zapf: (619) 236-6616. @LorieZapf 
Councilmember Sherri Lightner: (619) 236-6611. @SherriLightner

When you call:
1. State your name
2. State that you live in San DIego
3. Say, “I support food trucks operating in all of San Diego and I do not support the city’s attempt to ban food trucks from certain areas of the city of their hours of operation.”

See this article in the San Diego Reader for more coverage.

Juan Rivera February 7, 2014 at 9:55 am

I can not believe that a city that keeps promoting growth and prosperity are trying to keep the small businesses like mobile food trucks from succeeding. How come when a new restaurant decides to open they are not face with the obstacles and regulations that the food trucks are faced with. I moved here from the east coast hoping to start a small business, and its been nearly impossible to get it started. I decided that a food truck would be a more affordable way to begin, and now the city its pretty much saying “no way jose”….what a shame!!

Matthew February 9, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Profit. Licences and fines are profit. Also resume padding for politicians.

Nancy February 10, 2014 at 8:41 am

I work north of La Jolla Village Drive and food trucks on Towne Centre and over on Eastgate are a godsend! Who wants to battle stupid traffic during their lunch hour trying to get around mall traffic?
I will definitely be calling all three councilmembers. Who ever designed the UTC area was not thinking about the hundreds of employees in surrounding business who need to navigate the area for lunch.
Same goes for Sorrento Valley, I used to work over there… that food court over on Mira Mesa is a joke, parking is terrible and you waste your time battling for a parking spot!
We need alternatives for these ill designed areas, damn them for trying to screw with my lunch hour time!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: