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City committee to chew on new policy for food trucks

Interim mayor Todd Gloria revved up on enforcement

A new policy aimed at regulating food trucks is moving right along.

On Wednesday, October 23, the city's Land Use and Housing Committee will discuss whether to adopt certain provisions of the policy and possibly pass it on to the city council for discussion.

So far, only two requirements appear to be set in stone: food trucks can operate on private property only after obtaining a business-tax certificate; and property owners will be required to obtain a onetime ministerial permit (read: over-the-counter) from the city. This, reads a report from Development Services, affords city planners a chance to prevent impacts on nearby businesses.

Still up in the air, however, is whether the city should prohibit the trucks from operating in front of or next to brick-and-mortar restaurants. Lobbying organizations such as the California Restaurant Association want truck operators to stay at least 75 feet from restaurants. On the flip side, food-truck owners say the proposed buffer zone is unfair and meant to steer competition away.

Also not yet decided is whether to place time restrictions on when and how long trucks can operate. Some ideas presented in the memo include a four-to-six-hour-per-day limit or outlawing them on certain days of the week. The latter proposal would be bad news for many lunch trucks that serve primarily to construction or manufacturing workers on a daily basis.

Progress on a new policy is a welcome development for many food-truck operators. Just last month, interim mayor Todd Gloria announced his decision to reinstate the city's enforcement policy after former mayor Bob Filner had eased up until an ordinance was established.

Frustrated with Gloria's action, operators took to the internet to blast the council president.

"New mayor, new rules" — that's essentially what the City of San Diego had to say when it announced that food trucks that operate on private property in the city will be shut down; an estimated 75 percent of the trucks in San Diego operate in this manner.

Earlier this month, Gloria deflected criticism by stating that only three complaints had been turned over to Neighborhood Code Compliance, "demonstrating that the City of San Diego is not obliterating food trucks."

The Land Use and Housing Committee will meet at City Hall at 1:30 p.m.

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A new policy aimed at regulating food trucks is moving right along.

On Wednesday, October 23, the city's Land Use and Housing Committee will discuss whether to adopt certain provisions of the policy and possibly pass it on to the city council for discussion.

So far, only two requirements appear to be set in stone: food trucks can operate on private property only after obtaining a business-tax certificate; and property owners will be required to obtain a onetime ministerial permit (read: over-the-counter) from the city. This, reads a report from Development Services, affords city planners a chance to prevent impacts on nearby businesses.

Still up in the air, however, is whether the city should prohibit the trucks from operating in front of or next to brick-and-mortar restaurants. Lobbying organizations such as the California Restaurant Association want truck operators to stay at least 75 feet from restaurants. On the flip side, food-truck owners say the proposed buffer zone is unfair and meant to steer competition away.

Also not yet decided is whether to place time restrictions on when and how long trucks can operate. Some ideas presented in the memo include a four-to-six-hour-per-day limit or outlawing them on certain days of the week. The latter proposal would be bad news for many lunch trucks that serve primarily to construction or manufacturing workers on a daily basis.

Progress on a new policy is a welcome development for many food-truck operators. Just last month, interim mayor Todd Gloria announced his decision to reinstate the city's enforcement policy after former mayor Bob Filner had eased up until an ordinance was established.

Frustrated with Gloria's action, operators took to the internet to blast the council president.

"New mayor, new rules" — that's essentially what the City of San Diego had to say when it announced that food trucks that operate on private property in the city will be shut down; an estimated 75 percent of the trucks in San Diego operate in this manner.

Earlier this month, Gloria deflected criticism by stating that only three complaints had been turned over to Neighborhood Code Compliance, "demonstrating that the City of San Diego is not obliterating food trucks."

The Land Use and Housing Committee will meet at City Hall at 1:30 p.m.

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