New municipal regulations that would make it easier for food trucks to operate within the city limits are going before the Manteca Planning Commission on Tuesday.
A city staff report notes “the municipal code is silent on land use for mobile food vendors such as food trucks, canteen trucks and ice cream trucks are therefore not allowed.”
Among the proposed land use rules for mobile food vendors — that based on the staff report also includes canteen trucks and ice cream trucks — include:
*restricting hours of operation to 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. unless otherwise restricted by the city.
*barring food trucks from parcels within 150 feet of a parcel with a legally established restaurant. That wording could be read to prohibit food trucks, for example, at Cabral Motors given there is a legally established restaurant across Union — which is less than 150 feet wide — that is part of the Manteca Marketplace. Cabral, which has hosted food truck nights, under the wording of the proposed ordinance language would not be able to have a food truck anywhere on its property because the parcel itself is within 150 feet of the Manteca Marketplace parcel.
*prohibiting food trucks from unimproved properties. A parcel is considered improved under the ordinance if it contains a building that can legally be occupied. It is not clear whether this section would make it illegal for canteen trucks to continue stopping at construction sites where there may be not be buildings that can yet be legally occupied.
*requiring food trucks to locate within 200 feet of an available toilet or handwashing facility. The ordinance does not elaborate how that is verified given a large number of concerns that allow public use of restrooms restrict them to customers only.
*prohibiting mobile food vendor vehicles (food trucks, ice cream trucks, and canteen trucks) from operating “within the public right-of-way or on any city property except in the event of a street closure for a special event allowed by the city” except if allowed under Section 10.44.120. That section prohibits any peddlers and vendors — whether it is food, produce, tamales, merchandise, flowers, or ice cream — from being in one place for more than 10 minutes whether they are selling items from a truck, push cart, or simply standing to first as well as obtain a written permit from the city’s traffic engineer. The section would preclude ice cream trucks — as well as food trucks — that currently will pull into Woodward Park on busy weekends and stay in for more than 10 minutes. The new language does give the Parks & Recreation Department the authority to establish rules and regulations for mobile food vendors wishing to operate within city parks.
*No more than two mobile food vendor vehicles may operate at any one location unless a temporary use permit has been issued. They may not operate closer than within three feet of another mobile food vendor.
*Mobile food vendor vehicles shall be clean and in good repair and not have any peeling, dents, rust, scratches or missing components that are discernible at a distance of 5 feet or more.
*They cannot block a lawfully placed signage of another business, impede ingress or egress from another business, or be located with any clear visibility triangle.
*Signs shall be limited to those attached to the exterior or interior of a mobile food vendor vehicle plus one temporary free-standing sign. That free-standing sign may not be placed more than 2 feet beyond the food vendor and have two faces with the sign being no taller than four feet wide than three feet and require a city-issued portable sign permit. The name of the business, the commissary (where the vehicle is housed) address, and phone number must be displayed on the passenger side of the vehicle and clearly visible at a distance of 10 feet.
*Areas around the food vehicle must be kept neat and orderly at all times. Once a vehicle is parked and in operation it is the vendors’ responsibility for cleanliness of the area — not less than 50 feet from all parts of the vehicle — regardless of the occurrence or source of waste in the area.
*They must provide a trash receptacle for public use that is sufficient and suitable to contain all the trash the operation generates. All waste must be removed before a mobile food vendor vehicle departs from a location.
Mobile food vendors will basically be limited to all commercial and industrial zones and must obtain the proper city permits.
The Planning Commission meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St. Any recommendation they make must be submitted to the City Council for final approval and adoption.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com