Archive for the ‘San Joaquin County’ Category

Lodi may cap number of local taco trucks

Posted by Cyrus Farivar on November 9, 2009

Despite creating a new permitting system for Lodi’s taco trucks last year, city officials are now looking to cap the number of taco trucks allowed to operate within the city limits.

According to the Lodi News-Sentinel:

In 2008, there were 16 taco trucks permitted by the city, and in 2009, there were 22. Before 2008, the city didn’t require a mobile food vendor permit for the vendors.

The city started requiring permits after several council members expressed concern about whether mobile food vendors had the correct health permits and business licenses, said Joseph Wood, neighborhood services manager.

There’s the usual points brought up about taco trucks being “unfair competition” to established brick-and-mortar restaurants.

However, the City of Lodi may want to consult this part of the article before making any ruling, which to me, shows how much taco trucks want to work with city officials to keep themselves in business:

The community development department has heard very few complaints about the taco trucks, including the ones near residential areas, Wood said. With the new permitting process, the department performs spot checks to see if there are any problems with the trucks.

One of the problems Wood spotted was a taco truck had a non-approved water connection because it didn’t have a hose that met state health requirements. The taco truck owner removed the hose, Wood said.

Another had an electric connection crossing a roadway or pedestrian area. While taco trucks can have electric connections, they cannot cross property where people are driving or walking, so the truck had to remove it.

I wonder what local attorney David LeBeouf has to say about this.

Lathrop, Calif. passes new taco truck rules

Posted by Cyrus Farivar on September 18, 2009

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]