SANTA CRUZ, CA – The city council postponed a decision on proposed changes to the mobile vending ordinance designed to accommodate a growing interest in food trucks. Council members said there were too many questions about the impact to existing businesses, access to parks and private property. The council could take up the issue again Dec. 9.
Mayor Lynn Robinson joined Council members Hilary Bryant and Pamela Comstock in studying expanded times and locations where trucks could operate. They recommended a six-month pilot program allowing trucks in some parks — they can’t be within 300 feet of parks now — and downtown on Cooper Street during First Friday events. Also, up to three trucks could set up on private property without a use permit.
Comstock said trucks could “further engage the community in utilizing our parks” and that San Lorenzo Park would be a good test spot. The site commonly experiences illegal camping and other code violations.
Fran Grayson, who operates the Truck Stop at Lighthouse State Park through a lease with the state, urged more study, saying it isn’t clear there is a burgeoning market for trucks and the changes may represent a solution in search of a problem.
“We could be shooting ourselves shooting ourselves in the foot if we don’t get it right for six months,” she said.
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