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Manteca’s 10-minute rule is impeding daily food truck operations within city
food truck mania

You will not see food trucks in Manteca — at least ones operating legally under city ordinances — on a daily basis due to the city’s 10-minute rule.

 The 10-minute rule that has been on the books for 18 years limits the length of time a food truck that isn’t part of a permitted event can stay parked in one spot. It was adopted after two food trucks set up shop on parking lots adjacent to brick and mortar restaurants on East Yosemite Avenue just off of Highway 99.

The arguments against the food trucks at the time was they hurt restaurant business, created line of sight issues for traffic coming out of commercial driveways, were unkempt in terms of the vehicle’s appearance, and created an uptick in litter.

A gung-ho effort to encourage food trucks to operate in Manteca pushed by the current Manteca City Council just days after it was seated in December has been simmering on the back burner for months.
Initially the outline of a more liberal ordinance that would allow food trucks to stay in one location in specific zones as long as they meet a long list of conditions ranging from appearance and upkeep was vetted at a public hearing before the Planning Commission on Feb. 26.

At the time two hot dog cart owners spoke in favor of the city allowing longer hours as did several residents. While no one spoke against food trucks, several speakers implored the city to require that food trucks not be allowed within 200 feet of restaurants.

Community Development staff at the May 28 meeting updated the commission on efforts to tweak the food truck ordinance. No set timeline was put in place to bring the ordinance back before the commission for recommendations on whether the City Council should adopt it.

A map showing areas where food trucks would be allowed as well as the location of existing restaurants was shared with the commission. The staff also list major points that were being woven into the revised ordinance for the commission to consider.

The 10-minute limitation would be lifted for areas where they would be allowed if the proper city permit is obtained — basically all commercial and industrial zones. The 10-minute rule would be replaced with language restricting hours of operation to 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. unless otherwise restricted by the city. A temporary use permit could be obtained for other zones to allow food trucks for specific events up to three hours at a time.

Other key elements of the proposed language changes that were outlined both in February and May were:

*barring food trucks from parcels within 150 feet of a parcel with a legally established restaurant.

*prohibiting food trucks from operating in the public right of way unless they are part of a special event permitted by the city

*food trucks must have permission to operate on property.

*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 food trucks from unimproved properties. A parcel is considered improved under the ordinance if it contains a building that can legally be occupied.

*no more than two food trucks can operate at a specific location unless a temporary use permit is obtained.

*food trucks cannot block ingress or egress to another business, block the signage of another business or impede into the visibility triangle needed for the safe flow of traffic and pedestrians.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email