SANTA BARABRA, CA – The city of Santa Barbara will soon poll residents to figure out how to best regulate food trucks operating on local streets.

Santa Barbara City Council’s ordinance committee unanimously voted Tuesday to direct staff to develop at least one workshop to gather public opinion on a draft ordinance that could limit when and where food trucks operate.

The city attorney’s office brought up proposed amendments to Santa Barbara’s peddling and soliciting ordinance this week so its rules fall in line with a recent court decision that says California cities can’t impose blanket bans on vending from vehicles on city streets.

Under the Anaheim court case cities can, however, put parameters on when and where the vendors operate — especially if it involves public safety.

As of now, Santa Barbara requires a permit to peddle or solicit food and non-food items but has a list of prohibited types, including a ban “on or in any street within the city.”

Deputy City Attorney John Doimas presented an amended ordinance focused on street vending in downtown Santa Barbara, typically a busy area for vehicle traffic.

The draft limits street vendors to operating between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. — a cutoff that irked Councilwoman Cathy Murillo, who noted many food trucks serve well after 7 p.m.

“I stop to have a taco myself sometimes,” she said. “I think (vendors) need to be included in this discussion.”

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