SAN DIEGO, CA – The City Council took the first steps Wednesday toward developing regulations for the burgeoning food truck industry in San Diego, in an effort to balance competing interests of truck operators, restaurateurs and residents.
Operators of the trucks, popularized by television shows on the Food Network, have been complaining the past few months about tough enforcement by Neighborhood Code Compliance officers, who are operating under rules that aren’t specifically tailored for the new business model.
Councilman David Alvarez said many operators of gourmet food trucks are violating current city codes. Several council members said the idea behind the drive to regulate the industry was to give operators a clear set of rules they can work under.
“They’re part of the fabric of San Diego,” said Chris Duggan of the California Restaurant Association, which represents food truck operators and brick-and-mortar restaurants. “Food truck operators right now are in limbo — they don’t know where to operate and when.”
Marko Pavlinovic owns a food truck and has more than 3,000 followers on social media.
“Once I post on Facebook and Twitter where I’m going to be and they don’t find me there it’s a disappointment. It’s bad for business,” said Pavlinovic.
Within the last few months he has been shut down for operating on private property because currently, no zone within the city allows food trucks on private property.
“You know, every time I get shut down, I lose money,” said Pavlinovic. “I got to pay my employees, I got to pay my produce, I got to pay my things. It’s starting to be a little ridiculous,” said Pavlinovic.
But many restaurant owners disagree.
“It’s unethical and it’s not the way to do business,” said Moe Sadighian, who co-owns six restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter.
They pay more than $70,000 in rent each month and he wants the food trucks out.
“They get to get there when they want. They don’t have to pay rent. They pay small fees for a permit. They close the street off,” said Sadighian.
Pavlinovic says he understands why restaurant owners get upset, but tells 10News he pays his fair share.
“We pay taxes, we pay our fees,” he said. “I’ve got a commissary. I’ve got a food truck I’ve got to pay rent on and I’ve got a kitchen to pay too. I mean, I have more bills probably than a little small corner shop, a mom and pop shop.”
Pavlinovic says he just wants to run his business.
FInd the remainder of the article by Craig Herrera at 10news.com <here>