los altos caLOS ALTOS, CA – The Los Altos City Council last week voted 4-1 in favor of an ordinance that would regulate food truck operations within city limits.

Councilwoman Jan Pepper cast the lone dissenting vote after asking her colleagues to forgo the ordinance in favor of a community workshop with the affected residents “to come up with something that’s workable for everyone.”

“Some people are happy and some people aren’t,” Pepper said. “If we get more input in a different kind of setting, perhaps we can come up with an ordinance that works better.”

The final vote followed a lengthy discussion of the original draft presented to the council at its Jan. 14 meeting. It called for banning mobile food vendors from parking within 300 feet of public schools, parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities.

The ordinance was introduced after a group of neighbors near Los Altos High School – a popular food-truck destination – submitted a petition asking for a food-truck ban in residential areas. The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District also asked the city to intervene, citing childhood obesity concerns.

The council voted unanimously in favor of the ordinance without the 300-foot restriction at its Jan. 14 meeting, with some councilmembers commenting that the provision would simply move food-truck operations farther into residential areas. City Attorney Jolie Houston said California case law prevented an outright ban of mobile food vendors within the city.

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