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

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

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.

Will California’s food trucks soon be illegal?

On Tuesday Feb 14, State Assemblyman Bill Monning introduced AB 1678, which would require that all mobile food vendors park at least 1,500 feet away from a public school. Read more in this article.

Why this makes no sense:

  • Many schools serve food that isn’t healthy anyway (one poster on Facebook said her kid’s school served chocolate mini donuts, frosted cereals, pepperoni pizza, chicken-fried steak, tater tots, etc.)
  • Food from food trucks is often made from scratch and healthier than school food.
  • Kids that are old enough to leave campus to visit a food truck are probably also old enough to walk to fast food restaurants, convenience stores, or to drive wherever they want, anyway.

What problem is banning food trucks going to solve?

The bill is backed by the California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA). Here are photos from the CFPA website showing trucks vending near a school.  It looks like all ice cream trucks, to me.  Talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Eat St. on Location in San Diego This Weekend!

Eat St. on Location in San Diego This Weekend!

Eat St. is a show all about food trucks from the Cooking Channel and Food Network.  They will be filming 4 trucks in San Diego this weekend!  You may recall that they previously featured Mangia Mangia in episode 1 of season 2.

Show up to one of these locations and who knows – maybe you can launch your TV career!  At the very least, you get to see how a TV show gets filmed.  The show would love to have a good crowd, so please show your support!

  • Sat 19th: Food Farm, San Diego, 600 Pacific View Drive, 12-2pm.
  • Sun 20th: MIHO Gastrotruck, Bird Park in North Park on 28th & Thorn, 12-2pm.
  • Mon 21st: Eat at Recess, 4840 Eastgate Mall, 12-2pm.
  • Tues 22nd. Devilicious, 4000 Ruffin Road, 12-2pm.

Full details are here.