Manteca more than 17 years ago clamped down on food trucks after they were parked all day and part of the evening at several locations along East Yosemite Avenue between Highway 99 and Spreckels Avenue.
Some at the time complained the trucks were unsightly. Several brick and mortar Mexican restaurant owners opposed the food trucks — that back then consisted of only taco trucks — saying they had an unfair advantage given restaurants had to comply with municipal regulations including zoning rules that dictate where they can operate.
The response of elected leaders back then was to put a 10-minute limit on how long a food truck could stay in one spot as well as require a $40 license fee.
That prompted one taco truck to move just outside the city limits along East Highway 120 where they operated seven days a week for a number of years.
A lot has changed since then.
Food trucks have become a part of dining options on a daily basis in many communities. They also have proliferated at special events from back to school nights to farmers’ markets.
Manteca Parks & Recreation hosted a series of Manteca Food Truck Mania events complete with entertainment on Sundays at Woodward Park in the spring and summer of 2016. The initial event on April 10 of that year attracted more than 6,000 people creating massive traffic tie-ups in the neighborhoods. People waited for hours to buy food from 16 different trucks. More people — frustrated with the crowds — simply gave up and left.
Mayor Ben Cantu asked staff to draft a new ordinance regarding food trucks to make it more conducive for them to operate on a day-to-day basis outside of special events.
Community Development Director Greg Showerman indicated Tuesday a draft of that ordinance is being circulated to the Manteca Chamber of Commerce for input before being represented in the coming months to the Planning Commission and then to the City Council for possible adoption.
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