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Food fight shaping up over food truck rules
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The Manteca Chamber of Commerce is weighing in on proposed changes to the City of Manteca rules governing food trucks.

The chamber is suggesting food trucks be allowed to locate in “food deserts” and other areas not in walking distance of food.

The chamber recommendation notes that “if people were able to get their lunch without getting into a car, this could also serve as a boost to green initiatives.”

The chamber is concerned about permanent mobile food vendors setting up shop in front of or near brick and mortar restaurants that have invested in their business and the community.

The business organization would prefer to see food truck vendors do “contract serving” over the permanent spots.  Contract serving food vendors would service commercial/industrial and active construction sites by pulling onto the site for a period of time.  This would allow employees, who otherwise do not have the opportunity to leave for lunch, to buy hot food from the food truck vendor.

Food trucks already operate in such a manner at construction sites and typically don’t exceed the city’s current 10-minute time limit on being in one location very often.

The 10-minute rule went into effect 17 years ago when several food trucks were parking on property adjacent to restaurants along Yosemite Avenue west of Highway 99 often for more than 10 hours at a time.

The chamber doesn’t define walking distance but assuming it’s a half mile such a restriction means food trucks as Councilman Gary Singh envisions to bring more people to Library Park and downtown would not work as there are three restaurants directly across from Library Park

Regardless of where you stand on food trucks, the input being received in advance of proposed changes being sent to the Planning Commission for review and then to the council for possible adoption means it will be one of the better vetted proposed ordinances to be considered in recent years. That’s exactly what the council wanted to see happen.

On a related manner the chamber said they weren’t sure if ice cream truck vendors had to pass a background check. If they don’t, the chamber believes it would be a good idea.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email