City of Napa to Form Group to Revise Food Truck Rules

Napa Valley's Dim Sum Charlies


Napa Valley's Dim Sum Charlies

A group of stakeholders in the food truck industry will join to formulate new rules to guide them.

In the meantime, the city will require that the trucks operate under year-long use permits to remain parked on private property.

The Napa City Council asked that a stakeholders group be formed at its meeting Tuesday.

The group, made up of food truck owners, city staff, Napa Chamber of Commerce members, brick-and-mortar restaurant owners and other residents will meet to sift through the city’s existing ordinance and suggest revisions.

It could take six months to a year to form the group and write the new regulations due to the city’s full schedule, assistant city manager Nancy Weiss said.

Several food truck owners and industry advocates attended Tuesday night’s meeting.

Josepha Bertolini, who works in gourmet food sales, asked the city to retain the organic nature of the food truck industry, not hamper it with regulations.

“This is such a great chance for Napa to really be unique,” she said.

Kevin and Collin Simonson, brothers who own Crossroad Chicken, asked for fairness in the future rules.

“Basically, we just want to make good food,” Kevin Simonson said.

Alicia Raymond, whose husband, Mark Raymond, owns Mark’s the Spot, wondered why they weren’t notified so much was shifting in their industry and asked to be involved in crafting regulations that are sustainable.

The city began enforcing its decades-old ordinance in September, when officials started asking operators to seek proper use permits to remain on private property semi-permanently.

Napa Chamber of Commerce officials wrote a letter earlier this month requesting a revision to the rules, which it said were outdated.

They suggested that a stakeholders group be formed. In the meantime, they asked that existing food trucks be allowed to continue to operate.

Andrew Siegal, owner of Dim Sum Charlies, questioned the Chamber’s motives, saying they were attempting to quash competition for its brick and mortar members with layers of regulation.

Vice Mayor James Krider extolled food trucks but said he wants to make sure that there is consistency and quality within the industry.

“I think Napa is kind of like a foodie’s paradise, and I see these food trucks as sort of the latest and greatest,” he said. “This is a whole new segment of the eating industry, and I think it’s incumbent upon us to get it right.”