After months of deliberation, earlier this week, the city of Lathrop (population ~17,000, about 70 miles east of San Francisco in San Joaquin County) passed a new city ordinance regulating mobile vendors (read: taco trucks).
The new laws (I’m still trying to get a copy of the actual language of the law) apparently forbids trucks from parking on dirt roads, from having “no visible dents from a distance of 5 feet,” and requiring “that operators should have to undergo fingerprinting and criminal background checks.”
It also reduces the fees from $225 per cart to $21 that are currently doing business in the city, increases how long one vendor can be in a single location from 10 to 30 minutes, and restricts vendors from “setting up within 300 feet of any intersection and within 500 feet of other vendors or school areas. They will also be required to provide bathrooms for their employees and clean up all trash,” according to the Sun Post.
The measure passed the city council 3-1, with one member absent.
Councilwoman Martha Salcedo argued that the new rules are unfair and that there was a high potential for legal action against the city. At a previous council meeting, Salcedo asked why taco trucks were being targeted.
“Why just the vendors?” she asked. “In my opinion, it seems the vendors are being picked at. It should be all businesses. It’s all about being fair.”
Given the recent legal battles in Salinas and Los Angeles, she’s probably not wrong.
[Photo credit: Denise Ellen Rizzo/Sun Post]