Del Mar considers extending licensing ban on food trucks

Del Mar’s City Council is set to take up the issue of food trucks again next Monday, seeking to extend an emergency ordinance that effectively blocks their presence within city limits.

On November 19, the council voted to place a 45-day moratorium on the issuance of business licenses to mobile food vendors. The ordinance at that time stated that it was being “imposed for the minimum time necessary for staff to complete its analysis” of best practices for regulating the industry.

Now, Del Mar says that 45 days, the maximum amount of time for which its charter allows it to issue such emergency laws, is not enough to study the challenges that food trucks present. The city’s stance is that issues such as traffic safety, litter, and restroom access still need to be considered, as do other concerns, and that a 45 day extension of the original moratorium on the issuance of new licenses is warranted.

Existing business license holders will not be affected if the new measure passes, and will be able to apply for 2013 extensions of their previously issued permits.

Beyond the food trucks, other vehicles that the council seeks to implement restrictions on include ice cream trucks (currently unregulated), traditional lunch trucks that served construction and industrial sites for years before the “gourmet” food truck craze sprung, pushcarts and coffee cart vendors, “retail fashion trucks” that sell clothing or other boutique items, and even video game party trucks commonly installed on residential streets for a few hours during a child’s birthday.

A complete copy of the proposal is available here.

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