Earlier this month, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors passed a new ordinance requiring mobile food vendors (that means taco trucks, folks) who operate in unincorporated parts of the county to get a business license for the first time. In order to obtain said license, vendors will will have to pass a criminal background check, pay $352 annually for the license and associated fees, and $100 per truck.
The vendors will also have to obey the following regulations, as reported by the The Foothills Sun-Gazette:
-In residential areas, vendors cannot operate from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. and cannot stop for more than 10 minutes at a time.
-In nonresidential areas, vendors can operate at any hour, but can only park in one location for more than one hour if they can provide restroom facilities for their employees.
-Vendors can park in the public right of way along a highway if certain safety requirements are met.
-Vendors can park off the highway if they have written permission from the property owner.
-Trash must be removed when a vendor leaves a location.
-Business equipment must be removed when a vendor leaves a location unless they have written permission from the property owner to leave it there.
The new ordinance will take effect March 1, 2010.
The paper also reported that Barbara Booth Grunwald of the county’s counsel office, said: “Most of the vendors have said ‘We can live with this.’”
However, the Visalia Times-Delta reports today on Tacos Don Toño (pictured), a truck that’s been operating for 20 years just north of Visalia along Highway 63 just south of Avenue 326. Owner Carlos Huerta says he will be affected by the new laws, and that his customers — “mostly farmworkers” — can easily locate him.
The spot is next to a fruit packing plant, but Huerta said the plant doesn’t own the spot where he parks. That means he remains unsure “whether the spot is private land or part of the county’s road system.”
[Photo: Steve R. Fujimoto, Visalia Times Delta]