SAN BERNARDINO, CA – The San Bernardino County Planning Commission this week approved a recommendation to revise a county ordinance that will allow food trucks to roam freely in unincorporated areas. The proposal now goes before the Board of Supervisors on July 28 for consideration.
Cities within the county would continue to establish their own regulations regarding food truck operations under the proposal.
In June 2012, the Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance that, for the first time in county history, allowed food truck vendors to sell their wares at designated, organized events so long as they obtain temporary special use permits. But the ordinance did not go far enough to appease food truck vendors, who had long been fighting to roam freely in the Inland Empire and do business.
Food truck operators complained that the permit fees and permitting process were too expensive and too restrictive — not worth the time and effort just to operate at limited special events.
Under the original ordinance, categories were established for major and minor food truck events. Major events would serve 500 or more people and be limited to six a year. Minor events would serve 500 or fewer and be held year-round so long as permits are obtained for each event. Vendors would be required to pay an annual fee of $596, per location, for every event where they would operate.
Food truck operators didn’t bite.
“Since the new (ordinance) was adopted in 2012, there have been no food truck event permit applications submitted to the (Land Use Services) department,” county planner Christney Barilla told the Planning Commission Thursday.
Food trucks have long left a bad taste in the mouths of some government officials who believe food trucks have a negative impact on brick and mortar restaurants, which provide hefty sales tax revenue for cities and counties.