INDIAN WELLS, CA – When it comes to the type of pedestrian traffic and activity that food trucks seek, Indian Wells and its lack of a centralized commercial district might not be the most appetizing.
But in case a restaurateur decides to forge ahead anyway, Indian Wells city leaders are considering new restrictions that ensure food truck operators can’t just drive in and park anywhere.
The new proposal, which will be considered Thursday, would require trucks stay at least 150 feet away from any business, stay off all streets with speed limits of 35 mph or less, and obtain a temporary-use permit if they are part of special events.
The proposed restrictions come during a valleywide debate over how to encourage business growth while not being inundated by new mobile food options.
“If you don’t have very clear restrictions … it’s going to be a huge mistake for the city,” Mayor Pro Tem Ty Peabody has said about regulating food trucks.
Riverside County on April 8 started allowing food trucks to operate within the county. But it is up to individual cities to regulate them within city limits.
Cathedral City and Indio have approved laws. But Palm Desert and Palm Springs have moratoriums on the mobile operations, allowing them more time to review potential regulations.
Indian Wells council members first broached the subject in March, which spurred concern over health regulations and a potential overabundance of food trucks if they were allowed on private properties.
Peabody — whose wife owns Don Diego’s restaurant in Indian Wells and who used to operate food trucks in the 1990s — suggested more than a dozen requirements be part of an ordinance.
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