New Food Truck Rules Approved by Council

Hours of operation and permit requirements are two parts of the new ordinance

Food trucks will now have to abide new rules approved by the San Diego City Council Monday.

The ordinance requires the food truck operators stick to set hours of operation while in residential areas. If the truck is within 300 feet of a home, it can serve between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The rule is an effort to reduce late-night noise for residents, according to a release from City Council President Todd Gloria’s office.

Also under the ordinance, any private property owner who wants to host a food truck must first apply for an over-the-counter permit from the city’s Development Services Department.

Food truck operators themselves are not required to get the permits, and neither are schools, hospitals, religious facilities, construction sites or other industrial area property owners.

If they pick a space with “limited on-street parking,” the trucks will be required to move to private property to preserve the vehicle spaces and avoid pedestrian-vehicle crashes.

Operators are also required to clean 25 feet around their vehicle before serving.

“The ordinance is a fair approach to protect public health, safety and welfare while providing for mobile food truck operations on private property and in the public right-of-way, and I know food truck operators will benefit from having this clarity,” said Gloria in the release.

But some food truck owners are not as thrilled with the new restrictions.

When asked about the possibility of rules last month, Stuffed food truck owner Alex Gould spoke out against them.

He said he and his wife could be forced to move to a different city if the restrictions become too harsh. 

The city council is required to review the ordinance in one year to take into account its effectiveness, public input and potential changes.

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