palm springsPALM SPRINGS, CA – The council placed a temporary six-month hold on food trucks, until the city drafts an ordinance permitting the businesses. A Riverside County ordinance enabling food truck businesses goes into effect April 8.

“I think we are just taking our time to get it right,” said Mayor Steve Pougnet. “We are not ‘anti-food trucks.’ ”

The ban on the trucks will not prevent their participation in special events or serving on private property.

The regulations the city will likely consider will have to do with what streets the vendors will be allowed to operate on and how close they can be to existing brick-and-mortar restaurants or institutions like schools.

However, the city ought only consider public safety when drafting its regulations, said Matt Geller, president of the Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association.

“What doesn’t make sense is saying, ‘You can’t park 500 feet from a restaurant,’” said Geller. “What’s the public safety concern there?”

Last week, the Palm Desert City Council passed the desert’s first set of regulations, which prevent a food truck from parking within 750 feet of a conventional restaurant.

The trucks are also not allowed on streets with a speed limit of more than 35 mph and must be at least 1,500 feet from K-12 schools.

“Of course, you’re going to get places like Palm Desert say, ‘Oh, 750 (feet) is fair,’” said Geller. “It’s not right. It’s not fair. And it’s not legal in the state of California. And it’s ripe for challenge.”

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