san diego city hallSAN DIEGO, CA – Food truck operators are crying foul over proposed citywide regulations that they say would significantly restrict where and when their mobile businesses could operate in San Diego.

The new rules, which go before the full City Council on March 3, were reviewed Wednesday by the council’s Smart Growth and Land Use Committee, which heard numerous comments from mobile food vendors who fear that the proposal could put them out of business. The committee agreed to forward the proposed ordinance to the council without a specific recommendation.

Efforts to establish more clear-cut rules for the food truck industry grew in part out of growing tensions between brick-and-mortar restaurants and mobile-food operations, which for years have been largely unregulated by the city of San Diego.

While the trucks are subject to very specific health standards governed by state and local regulations, there are no existing municipal code provisions that apply specifically to mobile operators serving food to the general public on private property.

Among the key regulations that have been proposed:

•Food trucks would be outlawed in the Gaslamp Quarter and much of Little Italy.

•No food trucks would be allowed within the first two to three blocks adjacent to the beach in such communities as Ocean Beach, parts of Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla.

•A prohibition on food trucks within “parking-impacted neighborhoods” surrounding San Diego State, University of San Diego and UC San Diego.

•For food trucks operating within 500 feet of a dwelling unit, hours of operation would be limited to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. Friday through Saturday. (Some operators say the effect would be to ban mobile vendors in dense urban neighborhoods like downtown and North Park where there are many apartment and condo complexes near commercial areas).

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