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City Council Considers Easing Food Truck Regulations

City Council meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

Hungry for a juicy burger? Gotta get your Korean taco fix?

Elk Grove foodies may soon be able to chase their culinary cravings and stay local if the City Council approves new regulations making it easier for food trucks to operate in the city.

The City Council tonight will discuss proposed changes to Elk Grove’s laws regarding mobile food vendors, including:

  • Expanding parking time limits for food trucks from 15 minutes to 2 hours
  • Extending hours of operation to 10 p.m., instead of shutting down at 2 p.m.

Many U.S. communities began relaxing prohibitive regulations as the popularity of gourmet food trucks soared, and hungry residents - led by Facebook and Twitter postings - flocked to their favorite restaurants on wheels.

But another revision proposed by the Planning Commission could make it more difficult for food trucks to set up shop in Elk Grove.

Last month, commissioners asked the planning staff to include a regulation that would prohibit food trucks from opening within 350 feet of a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

City staff, however, doesn’t recommend imposing such a restriction.

Existing California health and safety codes require all mobile food vendors conducting business for more than one hour to operate within 200 feet of a restroom, according to a staff report to the council.

“This requirement could provide brick-and-mortars who do not want a mobile food vendor to park in front of their business a means to discourage the (vendor) by limiting their restroom options,” the report reads.

Davin Vculek, owner of the Krush Burger food truck, pointed out that brick-and-mortar restaurants are not restricted from opening next to other traditional eateries.

“I think it’s pretty progressive that they’re taking a positive stance towards food trucks in Elk Grove,” Vculek said. “Some of the other cities have dragged their feet a little bit and it’s taken a lot longer.”

Any regulation on distance from a brick-and-mortar restaurant, however, would restrict fair trade, he said.

“Cities are only supposed to regulate food trucks to protect public safety or health, and clearly a 350-foot restriction from a restaurant has nothing to do with either of those two things,” Vculek said. “It has to do with appeasing local brick-and-mortar restaurant owners.

“…I think there’s a way we can all coexist.”

The full staff report and proposed changes are attached to this article as a PDF.

The City Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Elk Grove City Hall Council Chambers, 8400 Laguna Palms Way.

Mario July 11, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Speaking from experience over half the business on a taco truck is done between 8-12 pm. Could be just the demographics of a taco truck so that is all I am speaking to. I do know my son and his buds like to hit up food places after 10 or 11.
Jennifer K. Morita July 11, 2012 at 05:09 PM
According to the city staff report, the state law relates to food truck employees.
Think Free July 11, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Good Idea. I have eaten some amazing food off of those trucks. (and some bad).
Chef Keith July 12, 2012 at 11:28 PM
I agree with CJ to a point. If I had invested a considerable amount of money in fees, permits, rent and such I would look to the city that I pay that money to to look out for my interests. As a truck owner myself, I'm smart enough to not park near a restaurant, just isn't feasible to my business. For more information on how Food Trucks are a boon to communities and information on the majority of the trucks in the area, check out: http://www.facebook.com/NorCalFoodTrucks There are three trucks that run with this group of amazing culinarians that are residents of Elk Grove!! California Love Truck Heavenly Hot Dog Papa Dale's Drivin' Diner All are long time residents of this gorgeous town. Check them out at a FoodMob near you! Contact us for how we can work with your group to add some flair to your event!!
Chef Keith July 13, 2012 at 12:54 AM
correction to above post. the Facebook address is http://www.facebook.com/SacFoodMob

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