"Torrance defends its enforcement actions in debate over food trucks"
By Nick Green Staff Writer
Posted: 12/07/2011 07:21:54 PM PST
"The Torrance City Council on Tuesday rejected charges the city had unnecessarily clamped down on gourmet food trucks on school campuses during a fundraising event, even as residents pleaded for greater transparency.
"We're not changing anything," Mayor Frank Scotto said. "We wouldn't be having this meeting if all the trucks had business licenses."
But as some residents saw it, the clear-the-air meeting wouldn't have been needed had city officials effectively communicated regulatory requirements with school fundraising organizers. The gatherings of the trendy gourmet food trucks can draw hundreds of loyal foodies and generate thousands in revenue.
Tuesday's meeting came in the wake of what amounted to a police raid on a recent Yukon Elementary School fundraiser to cite unlicensed trucks.
"We felt we asked the right questions and obviously we didn't," said Cathy Beasley, a parent involved with the nonprofit Yukon Elementary Education Alliance. "We just want clear and concise rules - something easy for the food truck vendors to follow."
Despite the defensive comments by municipal officials, it appeared all involved shared a portion of the blame for the recent food truck fundraising fiasco.
Parent volunteers, as Beasley conceded, were so focused on ensuring whether the school campus gatherings needed a special events permit - they don't - the issue of whether individual trucks had the necessary city business license was overlooked. City officials, in verbally approving the gatherings, assumed organizers knew the trucks needed a $236 annual business license, which requires a $37 commercial vehicle safety inspection. They didn't.
Many food trucks, apparently believing they had received the go-ahead from city officials to attend events on school campuses, which are governed by different land-use regulations than private property, neglected to get the necessary license.
Caught in the middle were city police, who said they were simply trying to enforce "rudimentary" Vehicle Code requirements. Instead, they incurred the wrath of both event organizers and food trucks. The latter were seemingly unaccustomed to that level of regulation elsewhere in the county.
"You guys are taking it to a whole new level," food truck gathering organizer Glenn Debacca told the City Council. "We're trying to do a fundraiser."
The only concrete things the City Council did Tuesday: adopted an ordinance requiring food trucks to display the county food facility grade and refer to the Planning Commission a proposed ordinance governing food truck gatherings off school campuses.
The commission is scheduled to begin deliberations on that issue Dec. 21."
Read the article below, it's a great example of whats going on coast to coast. Gourmet Food Trucks are being challenged and harassed. The harassment comes in may forms, but this example shows the waste of tax payer money at the hands of the police. Whats interesting is no one in power in the City of Torrance seems to know who ordered the raid. Was it the mayor, or restaurant owners with friends in the police dept? Who knows, everyone points the finger at each other.
The unfortunate thing is this was a School Fundraiser and who was the BIGGEST looser, our children.
Dan, Save the Food Trucks
"Torrance food-truck raid outrages fundraisers"
By Nick Green Staff Writer
Posted: 11/25/2011 05:46:02 PM PST
"One moment, 13 invited food trucks were serving hundreds of diners on a Torrance elementary school campus at an educational fundraiser.
The next moment, the long-planned event had come to a screeching halt, as police raided the gathering and issued citations to trucks without business licenses, prompting some to hurriedly head for the exits.
"It looked like some sort of weird druglord movie where the cops were coming and everyone is running for the hills," said William Mackey, a director with the Yukon Elementary Academic Alliance, a nonprofit group affiliated with the north Torrance school of the same name.
"Trucks were packing up as fast as they could," he added. "People were moving tables to avoid getting hit by the (fleeing) trucks."
And when the gathering was over, six food trucks had been cited, angry parents had verbally assailed the responding officers, the school fundraiser was a total bust and the supposedly business-friendly city of Torrance was left with a major public relations problem on its hands."
"I was really ticked off (last) Friday, as were both the parents and staff from Yukon," said Mike Beasley, president of the alliance. "We thought we had the assurances from the city that as long as the event was held on school grounds we wouldn't have any issues. And we made those assurances to the food truck people.
"We looked pretty bad," Beasley added. "We felt like we set them up. We've pretty much damaged the reputation of Yukon and I'm not sure we can ever get that group (of food trucks) back."
Mayor Frank Scotto denied that city officials had planned in advance to bust food trucks serving food without a license.
"That was not supposed to have happened," he said. "There was no intent to do that.
"We've got better things to do than set up catering trucks to get busted," Scotto added. "We don't need the bad PR. They just need to follow the rules and there would be no issues with this."
Organizers, however, aren't convinced city officials are being completely forthright. Beasley noted that, in particular, one officer involved in the raid seemed evasive.
"He did say his boss specially told him to come check us out," Beasley said. "When I asked him who his boss was, all he said was Scotto would know who his boss was. He didn't give me a lot of straight answers."
Straight answers can be difficult to come by in the ever-evolving industry of gourmet food trucks - and the patchwork of regulations that affect them.
The trucks have thousands of devoted fans, many of whom follow their constantly changing locations via Twitter.
But authorities, as Scotto acknowledges, have had mixed success in regulating them.
Food trucks have been punted out of a variety of locations in such cities as Carson and Torrance as well as places such as Alpine Village, which is in unincorporated Los Angeles County. Earlier this year, organizers of the Torrance Block Party in Old Torrance had hoped to include food trucks at the event, but encountered resistance from city officials."
Please Sendemail Rosendahl’s office or call 310-575-8461 to voice your concerns. We have a voice, lets speak our minds. This law will affect all our food truck choices in the City of Los Angeles.
"The Battle Continues: Mobile Food Trucks VS. Local Eateries
By Lauren Lloyd in News on July 13, 2011 2:20 PM"
"SoCal mobile food trucks are once again under attack. Restaurant owners voice understandable concern regarding the impact of mobile eateries near their establishments, and food trucks continue to defend their livelihoods. The battle seems never-ending, and additional discriminative measures are being taken to limit the presence of L.A.'s beloved treat trucks.
Councilman Bill Rosendahl introduced motion 11-1157 on July 1, 2011, advocating a height and length restriction of vehicles on Olympic and Sawtelle Boulevards. Introduced under the guise of public safety, the motion does not mention mobile food trucks.
The SoCal Mobile Food Vendors' Association (SCMFVA) claims that "this is clearly an anti-competitive measure to limit the public's access to their favorite food trucks for the benefit of the Lemon Moon restaurant owners who feel they should have a geographic monopoly over the Olympic and Bundy area."
Prior motions restricting food trucks were submitted in June 2010 by Councilmember Tom LaBonge."
"POLICE CRACKDOWN ON FOOD TRUCKS MOVES TO WEST 50TH ST"
"I was over checking out the scene around Rock Center, where there has been a significant police crackdown on food trucks on 51st & 52nd St. Well, it looks like the crackdown has moved down to 50th St between 6th & 7th Ave.
Around 1:15, Big D’s Grub Truck had a line of about 15 people, with another half dozen waiting for their orders. Three (!) plainclothes policemen wrote Big D a ticket for “vending from a metered spot”, a law that was recently upheld by a judge in the Paty’s Taco Truck case. They also forced Big D to close down for the day.
I spoke to one of the cops, and he explained that food trucks are not allowed to vend from metered spots. Metered spots are to give cars and trucks places to park. Nobody is supposed to park at a meter and feed it (excuse the pun) all day. He was nice about it, and understood that people love the food trucks, but this will have to be solved through changing the law, not by trying to keep one step ahead of it.
I also spoke with Grant from Sweetery NYC today about the same type of crackdown on Hudson St. Things are still hot there, but have cooled down a bit because the trucks have spread out."
It seems clear to me that the City of Industry is "Clueless", to what the residents really want. Like to be part of the Gourmet Food Truck Revolution. As other cities like, Nashville work with city leaders to actually change outdated city statutes to attract Gourmet Food Trucks. The city of Industry works overtime to drive business from its boundaries. Thats OK City of Industry leaders (and use that term loosely) your citizens are just going to Orange County, Santa Anita and Los Angeles to spend money not only on Gourmet Food Trucks but while they are there cars, furniture, electronics etc. Oh well, we all are happy to take your citizens money and keep their sales take to help our cities.
Thats what I mean by CLUELESS:
Dan Iehl Gourmet Food Trucks LLC
"Best Buy food truck festival shut down in Industry
By James Figueroa, Staff Writer
Posted: 05/18/2011 07:51:27 PM PDT
INDUSTRY - Gourmet food truck fans won't be able to find the latest culinary treats at the local Best Buy anymore. Truck Squad announced via Twitter last week that Industry gave their events a "red light." The Orange County-based company had partnered with Best Buy to organize mini festivals, featuring six food trucks, in the electronics store's parking lot. "We had a bit of a beef with the city about that," said Jordan Varon, manager at the Best Buy store in Industry. "It's a sad thing because the customers loved it."
Industry limits businesses to two special event permits per year, according to Associate City Planner Troy Helling. Best Buy used up its permits when the retailer started the events in January and February. Industry code enforcement officers paid a visit when Truck Squad tried to start the events again in May. In the warehouse-oriented city, traditional food trucks have long served workers during their lunch hours. But, while they only stop for a few minutes to serve a business' workers, the new craze actually has food trucks parking for a while.
The legal distinction is between parking and stopping. "The city doesn't allow food trucks to operate, park and serve the public," Helling said.
But another Industry business, SpeedZone, has hosted the monthly San Gabriel Valley Food Truck Festival since December, featuring about 20 trucks and a cover charge. That event has proven popular, and organizers said they haven't been notified of any violations. SpeedZone rents out its racetrack space for the festival, much like it does for corporate events and groups, according to general manager Melissa Luna."
"Wherever the Nom Nom Truck goes, Stephanie Rodriguez follows. The 25-year-old Long Beach resident, who doesn't drive, has coaxed friends into chasing Nom Nom to Santa Anita Park or a Torrance shopping center so she can wait in line - often for hours - for the food truck's signature Vietnamese sandwiches.
"I love their sandwiches. They're so good, especially the lemongrass banh mi," said Rodriguez, who waited almost two hours in a Signal Hill Best Buy parking lot Wednesday night to be Nom Nom's first customer. "I've had different sandwiches, especially Vietnamese sandwiches, but these ones are really, really tasty," said Rodriguez, who planned to buy about a half-dozen sandwiches and tacos for herself and friends.
The food truck fervor that has spread nationally and throughout Southern California has made its way to Greater Long Beach, landing en masse in parking lots and along storefronts in Signal Hill, Long Beach and Los Alamitos.
Each Wednesday for the past month, a section of the Best Buy parking lot in Signal Hill becomes the "Sig Alert," a makeshift food court of 10 trucks. In Long Beach, about five gourmet trucks set up shop for lunch weekly in the Zaferia- South Design District as part of the area's Lunch Truck It event. One of the trucks there, Vizzi Truck, offered foie gras `PB&J,' a sandwich built with brioche toast, almond butter and truffled fig jelly for $21.
In Signal Hill, more than 300 people flooded the lot Wednesday for various eats ranging from Guinness chip ice cream sandwiches at Coolhaus to cheese and potato filled bacon shells - dubbed "the baco" - at Lardon."
"A wrong turn for L.A.'s food truck scene? Some feel that an exciting, underground culinary scene has become mainstream and obsessed with the bottom line.
By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times
May 6, 2011
Josh Hiller is fed up. As a partner in RoadStoves, the food truck outfitter that helped launch Kogi into the stratosphere, he thinks L.A.'s rapidly expanding new-wave food truck scene is getting out of hand.
"We tried to be very specific about the trucks we launched; we were looking for good business models and good food," says Hiller of the months that followed Kogi's launch 21/2 years ago and its unexpected success. At the time, Angelenos, united by Twitter, lined up for two hours or more to taste the truck's signature Korean barbecue tacos."
"We got hundreds of calls, but we rejected 95% of the requests. The problem came when the other commissaries and truck owners saw money and basically just prostituted the whole culture. So what you ended up with was 15 so-so trucks parked on Mid-Wilshire, the city unhappy, a mediocre food product and all the truck owners cannibalizing each other's business." Hiller is not alone in feeling that what was once an exciting, underground food scene driven by a punk rock aesthetic and an exploratory mentality is swiftly becoming a mainstream, bottom-line-obsessed maze of infighting and politics.
When Kogi started, there were only a few new-wave food trucks on the scene; now that number is hovering near 200, says Hiller. And where experimental entrepreneurs once dominated, corporate players such as Jack in the Box and Sizzler are entering the fray.
There are other issues too, including a wealth of copycat trucks and the sense that many entering the business have no culinary experience but expect to make a fortune.
That's not to say that there isn't a silver lining to the movement's adolescence. Hiller, other truck owners and a ravenous public believe in the food truck's promise — the realization of a street-food culture that unites a disparate city and encourages a community that lingers outdoors together over a plate of food. It's a concept long understood by the loncheras, or taco trucks, that have operated for decades without stirring the beehive of debate that these flashy new trucks have generated."
The food trucks in New Your City have taken the next step in protecting their livelihood. Their association has hired a lobbing firm to help them with all the issues the come up from government agencies. In talking with different truck owners from coast to coast the stakes are to high to let the restaurants and city officials slowly put us out of business. The owners believe free enterprise should dictate their success not politicians and bureaucrats.
"New York's gourmet-food trucks—the brash populists of the restaurant world—are growing up: They've formed a trade group and hired a lobbyist.
The owners behind 32 trucks selling everything from Korean tacos to grilled cheese to artisanal ice-cream are banding together to form the New York City Food Truck Association. The group hired Capalino + Co. to push for speedier licensing and the right to park and vend at metered spots.
"Owners of food trucks such as Eddie's Pizza Truck, above, Mexicue and Waffles & Dinges have formed a trade group and hired a lobbyist in an effort to improve their business climate in the city."
"We think the nature of street vending has changed and we are looking to advocate for laws that reflect those changes," said David Weber, president of the group and a co-owner of the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck, which has grown from one to four trucks over the past couple of years. "We're trying to overcome some of the stigma that street food has."
Like lots of major cities, New York has seen a surge in trucks that elevate street fare far beyond soft-serve ice-cream and meat on a stick.
Restaurant owners, career-changers and entrepreneurs have poured money into the wildly popular vendors, whose daily movements are tracked by blogs and throngs of Twitter followers. Some have grown into outlets with multiple trucks and employees, and even brick-and-mortar stores.
Still, they fight daily for places to idle. Turf battles have flared up. The most notorious was in August, when an escalating fight between the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck and the Frites 'N' Meats truck turned into a Twitter and blog war. Both trucks are part of the association now."
Restaurants are calling the police when food trucks get close. Is this the best use of the Police? You tell me.
"SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA / FEBRUARY 24, 2011
Restaurants, Food Trucks in Turf War
By JIM CARLTON
A food fight is breaking out in downtown San Francisco, with a group of restaurants squaring off against an incursion of food trucks that they say pose unfair competition.
The rift broke out a month ago after a food-truck vendor called JapaCurry began parking in front of restaurants in a South of Market neighborhood, selling to-go meals during the busy lunch hour. "They just showed up right in front of us, and didn't even ask," said Jasmine Tran, a clerk at Tart to Tart, a bakery café on Mission Street. "It hurt our business, definitely."
Lori Eanes for The Wall Street Journa
A dozen other nearby restaurants in the Mission and Second Street area signed a Jan. 21 complaint to San Francisco police asking to keep the vendor from parking so close to them. The complaint prompted the police to revoke JapaCurry owner Jay Hamada's permit for that street. Mr. Hamada disputes that he posed a business threat because his menu of mostly Japanese curry dishes isn't offered at any of the area's restaurants.
"I feel sorry, but I don't think I'm taking their customers," said the 40-year-old Mr. Hamada, who started his mobile curry business in November with a $100,000 investment.
Meanwhile, restaurateurs have expressed concern about a possible onslaught of food trucks under a new city ordinance designed to promote their growth. Some 65 to 70 currently ply the streets, according to a city official."
The report claims to be a product of the “Food Truck Task Force,” (created to work with the City to create substantive municipal code revisions concerning food trucks).
The CLA report claims that the task force met “several times.” This is completely inaccurate, the task force met twice. In those two meetings, we only discussed substantive policy for about 30 minutes (out of six hours). The rest of the time was spent listening to competition complaints from Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)and some safety complaints from residents in the Beverly Glen area. Safety issues are a completely valid discussion topic as this is required by State law to make regulations. Competition issues are a waste of time and can not be taken into consideration when drafting new regulations.
The CLA recommendations were handed out at the second meeting and we had an opportunity to briefly discuss some of the bullet points. Almost all of the “new” additions to the code are already in the LA municipal code. The one substantive addition was a regulation that would only allow one truck per block. The CLA claimed that there are public safety concerns when food trucks congregate. However, they did not provide one actual example of public safety peril regarding multiple food trucks. Instead they used possible scenarios that were put forth by BIDs who are more concerned with regulating competition and limiting consumer choice.
CLA- public safety claims:
Trash: There is already a regulation concerning trash. To our knowledge there has not been one citation issued for a violation of 80.73 (b)2(E) which regulates trash pick up around trucks.
Limiting the free flow of traffic: This is Los Angeles, the “free flow of traffic” is always limited.
Blocking views: Are we going to limit UPS, FED EX, USPS, RVs and busses on all blocks as well?
Distract drivers: Seriously? How about we get rid of electric billboards.
Cause people to park illegally or conduct illegal maneuvers: So because people allegedly park illegally or make illegal U-turns to eat at food trucks, the City has to create a restrictive regulation for food trucks? Totally nonsensical.
Fail to abide by parking regulations: Not a public safety concern.
This report shows a total disregard for State law requirements for creating regulations. It looks like Tom LaBonge’s office wrote it. The CLA is supposed to be a neutral party.
Luckily, Councilman Alarcon, a voice of reason on the Transportation Committee hearing pointed out the ridiculousness of the report. He then suggested that the Food Truck Task Force reconvene and work on what it was created to work on: Substantive code revisions for food truck regulations.
Thanks Councilman Alarcon, your leadership and foresight on this matter is unparalleled.
By the way, Councilman Tom LaBonge didn’t even bother to show up to the Transportation Committee hearing even though he is the Vice Chairman and the driving force for new food truck regulations. Additionally, his office instructed the Department of Transportation to cite food trucks on Wilshire for every possible violation they could think of.
Please help us get Stephen Box (Candidate for the 4th district) elected. It’s the only way to protect this industry from LaBonge and his Museum Square cohorts."
WOW, here we go again. A City/County that is looking to shut down a successful monthly gathering. WHY? because one person had a complaint. No matter hundreds were thrilled. When voting make sure you find out if the candidate is for food trucks or against and make your own decision.
Food trucks bring in tax money, jobs and good family friendly fun.
"Monthly Food Truck Event Could be Cancelled Because of Code Violation
One of the event's planners, Meredith Miller, says with county officials investigating the event, she doesn't know whether it will be happening this month.
By Dan Abendschein | February 24, 2011
Altadena's newest monthly event, Fancy Food Truck Fridays, is at risk of being shut down due to a potential county code violation, according to one of the event's organizers.
The news was first reported Thursday morning on the Altadenablog, and organizer Meredith Miller, the co-owner of Webster's Community Pharmacy confirmed it.
Miller said that she is still trying to get in touch with the right person in the county to discuss the issue, which she said has to do with parking.
She said she was told that the county received a complaint from somebody in Altadena.
"One person who complained and it was enough to get the ball rolling unfortunately," Miller said.
The event, which kicked off last month, featured four food trucks in the parking lot behind Webster's along with tables for people to sit. Most at the event had to park on the street to attend.
She said it is too soon to say whether the second food truck event, scheduled for March 11, will still go forward, but said she believes she may need to apply for a conditional use permit, which would be very costly."
This is great news a politician that thinks outside the box and looks to do whats right for her constituents. Gourmet Food Trucks supply much need jobs, tax revenue, experience for young chefs and a jumping board to new brick and mortar restaurants. THANK YOU Janice Rutherford and The Press-Enterprise for supporting our way of life.
San Bernardino County may try to get a bite of the increasingly popular gourmet food truck business.
Supervisor Janice Rutherford said Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors meeting that she would like to look at legalizing the businesses -- which are banned -- in the county's unincorporated areas.
"We need every opportunity to create jobs and give people an opportunity to create their own jobs," she said.
Rutherford said she plans to discuss the issue with the county's environmental health department, which regulates food establishments, and interested businesses before introducing an ordinance.
She described the industry as a "perfect opportunity" for those seeking a low-overhead business venture.
Food trucks featuring gourmet menu items such as Korean tacos, Indian dosas and crepes have exploded in popularity in Los Angeles and Orange counties, with dedicated followers tracking their locations on Twitter."
Everyday when I'm talking to Gourmet Food Truck Owner/Operators and their customers, someone usually asks "What can I do to help?" The answer has been to make your voice heard with city officials, by sending emails, making phone calls, generally just speaking up.
Well now is our chance to really do something. We can show "City Hall" that we do have a voice and we know how to use it. We can SUPPORT Candidates that support our way of life.
"LA City Council Candidate Supports FOOD TRUCKS – Support Stephen Box Candidate for L.A. City Council
by Stephen Box for MobileFoodNews.com
MobileFoodNews.com formally announces it’s endorsement of L.A. City Council candidate Mr. Stephen Box!
LA County has more than 4000 Food Trucks on the streets but it is the 400 specialty trucks that trigger the latest version of the traditional LA celebrity sighting. Foodies regularly Tweet the locations of their favorites and follow the rock star Trucks such as Don Chow, India Jones, Coolhaus, Dosa, Nom Nom, Buttermilk and the wildly popular Grilled Cheesed Truck".
It's crazy only a few miles from Abbott Kinney in Venice is "Trangle Buisness" section of Westchester, yet they are worlds apart.
I have been to all three of the Westchester First Friday events. It is such a breath of fresh air compared to the crowded streets of Venice. The shop owners are happy to have the gourmet food trucks and the families that come to enjoy a fun evening. The customers are wonderful, some waiting in long lines for AWESOME trucks like The Greasy Wiener and Shrimp Pimp Truck which are regular fixtures on First Friday. Other trucks rotate in and out to keep things fresh. Last week Rosa Bella Cucina was there. They bring some of the best Italian food this side of Italy.
Westchester has turned out to be a true win win for everyone. Come on out next month, I'll be walking the streets visiting the shops and eating from the trucks. Read the great article by The Argonaut.
"Triangle merchants seek to give neighborhood more awareness with First Friday community events
BY VINCE ECHAVARIA
(Created: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 3:03 PM PST)
Fridays are winding down a little later than usual one night each month on at least one Westchester street.
Along this stretch of W. 87th Street between Truxton Avenue and Sepulveda Eastway, in an area known to locals as The Triangle, businesses are keeping their doors open later into the evening on the first Friday of every month, when visitors can be seen mingling among friends and neighbors and sampling some of the popular food truck offerings.
The concept of First Friday has been practiced in recent years in at least one other local community, Venice, where the eclectic Abbot Kinney Boulevard has drawn scores of people from throughout Los Angeles with its bars, establishments and visiting mobile food vendors." Click here to read the rest of the article
Great story on how Gourmet Food Trucks affect so many aspects of our daily life. Most of the affects are positive; helping charities, opportunities for new young chefs to earn their way, variety of food choices to the work place creating a better work environment, etc.
This story unfortunately is about the Jealousy from brick and mortar restaurants and waste of not only tax payer money but possibly lack of critical services while unfounded complaints are being investigated.
Check out New York City, they are embracing the Gourmet Food Trucks instead of trying to get rid of them. They are starting to expand their locations for 2011. It would be nice if other cities would take their lead and use this as an example.
The New York Parks Dept. just put out a request for proposals for new mobile food vendors all over the city. Last year, it jumped on the food truck bandwagon by seeking quality vendors (i.e., more than just hot dogs and pretzels) for both the Tavern on the Green parking lot (soup and dumpling trucks) and Brooklyn Bridge Park (Ditch Plains, Calexico, Blue Marble Ice Cream), and they're continuing on this year with a search for vendors for what looks to be every possible park, square, or intersection in their inventory including Tompkins Square Park,McCarren Park, Prospect Park, Central Park, Riverside Park, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, SoHo Square, and elsewhere."
What are the Abbot Kinney Merchants Committee doing and saying? Well I was lucky enough to get a communication/email that went out to the Abbott Kinney Merchants from Carol Tantau Chair, AK Merchants Committee of the Venice Chamber of Commerce. Just Tantau 1353 Abbot Kinney Blvd Venice CA 90291
Read and see for yourself. It seems there are a few people that are not in step with the reality of what their customers want and try to go to extreme measures to force their will on others. We live in a free enterprise country. Yes everyone needs to live by the rules society enacts, or they need to change the rules.
As you read the letter below you may agree or be outraged, but its clear some are out to ban food trucks and you can write and call the merchants and boycott the merchants that support the tactics listed below.
Good News: I spoke live today to a merchant that supports First Friday with Gourmet Food Trucks and is willing to hold parking spots and provide the required bathroom letter for a truck to park in front of their business. Don't punish all merchants, ask where they stand and boycott the ones that are running your trucks out of town.
In the mean time support the food trucks at the Brig or go to alternative First Friday locations like Westchester (87th and Truxton).
"DOT denied our permit for restricted parking tomorrow night on the advice of the City Attorney. Subsequently, on the advice of Council Office, we filed an application for a Special Event permit, and that was denied as well. We have run out of time to take further action with the City, so we are recommend the following action:
Merchants on Abbot Kinney Blvd. should park their vehicles along the street if they wish to protect their businesses from having a food truck block them.
We encourage everyone to photo and video any food truck issues. Document everything. (See "regulations" section at the end of this message.)
If anyone (including the press) asks why we did not get the permit, simply state that the City of Los Angeles denied our permit too late to post the signs 48 hours in advance. We don't want any speculation. Less said the better. Also, for your information:
Councilman Rosendahl's office is working with us to urge the County to approve overtime for a Health Inspector to be on site.
Matt Geller of the SCMFVA emailed Carol that he is aware that we do not have the permit, as the signs legally must be posted 48 hours in advance.
It is rumored that Big Foot has cancelled their proposed food truck court at 1611 Electric.
This is frustrating and everyone's hands are tied. In spite of this disappointment, we are making great progress as a cohesive and committed group.
Regulations taken from the SCMFVA website governing food truck operating:
You must obey the posted parking restrictions, including, but not limited to, restrictions on stopping, loading, and parking from either posted signs or painted curbs [ LAMC 80.73(b)2(B)]
You must dispense food from the sidewalk side of the street. No truck may dispense food street side [ LAMC 80.73(b)2(C)]
You must have a CONSPICUOUS litter receptacle which is clearly marked with a sign requesting its use by patrons [ LAMC 80.73(b)2(D)]. In-truck hatch receptacles are NOT sufficient.
Trash shall be removed from all areas VISIBLE around the truck. The truck shall take all bags with them when vacating an area. Trash is to include all materials originally dispensed from the truck as well as any other items left by patrons, such as cigarette butts[ LAMC 80.73(b)2(E)].
The "hatch" of a truck shall be at least 7 feet above the sidewalk in order to avoid patron collisions [LAMC 56.08(e) disputed]
Trucks must be parked at a Commissary every night. [Cal Code: 114295(c)]
Trucks must have a bathroom letter from an accessible bathroom with hot water (103-108 degrees), single serving soap, paper towels, kept in clean working order, if vending for over an hour (Cal Code: 114315)
Trucks must have current and valid registration clearly marked on their plates while vending on the street.
Trucks should have all their permits readily accessible while doing business.
Carol Tantau JUST TANTAU Chair, AK Merchants Committee of the Venice Chamber of Commerce"
Those who went to the First Friday on Abbot Kinney in Venice at the beginning of December were corralled (as it were) into the parking lot adjacent to The Brig. A dozen or so food trucks had managed to arrange themselves – with two dozen other unable to participate, thanks to a decision by the Abbot Kinney Merchant’s Association to shut the street to parking for the event.