Recently, the Sacramento City Council almost-unanimously passed a resolution drastically restricting the ways in which mobile food vendors - principally taco trucks - may do business in the city. Even though the vast majority of Sacramento's taco trucks (including all those relied upon by downtown and Natomas third-shift employees) do business from private property - parking lots where they've received owner permission to be - the new city regulations basically tell property owners that they don't know what's best for themselves, and enact all sorts of new rules on the trucks.
The rules include:
- no night operations (which will kill those trucks whose vast majority of customers are police officers, firefighters, hospital and sanitation workers and other night-shift folks who need to eat too);
- trucks can't be parked in the same location for more than 30 minutes, making advertising, reputation & reliability all completely moot;
- every time they move, trucks must be a significant distance from their old location, and a specified distance from a "residential neighborhood," language which is vague and undefined in the resolution and city planning codes.
City Council staff have claimed that they did indeed talk to taco truck owners, but we've been able to talk to over a dozen - including the proprietors of every downtown, Arden and Natomas area truck - and not a single one can remember ever being approached by anyone from the city; none were told about the city council meeting where the vote was held, and none have been told about the new regulations.