SANTA CRUZ, CA – Acknowledging the increase in popularity of gourmet food trucks, the Santa Cruz City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an 18-month pilot program allowing purveyors of pulled pork sandwiches, truffle fries and shrimp kebabs to serve outside city parks, occasionally set up downtown and stay for longer periods of time.

The temporary rule changes will allow trucks to park outside Harvey West, San Lorenzo, Depot and lower DeLaveaga parks up to four hours in any location from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Previously, mobile vending near parks was prohibited, and vendors could only sell for up to 15 minutes in one public location.

Two trucks also may park on Cooper Street outside the Museum of Art & History as part of First Friday events downtown. The provisions also allow for up to three trucks to park on private property without paying a parking impact fee.

“There is a balance being created to provide opportunity for food trucks and make sure there is safe access where trucks park,” said Councilwoman Pamela Comstock, who along with former mayors Hilary Bryant and Lynn Robinson studied changes based on how trucks operate in other communities. “We have to be very mindful of neighborhoods.”

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