San Bernadino, CA: Bring on the Food Trucks

2nd District Supervisor Janice Rutherford

By Gina Tenorio | Loma Linda Patch


2nd District Supervisor Janice Rutherford

Is it possible? Could we begin to see food trucks in San Bernardino County?

In a unanimous vote, the county has said yes to amend an ordinance that regulates food trucks, albeit on a restricted basis. The amendment means that food trucks will be able to operate beyond the festivals or private functions with permits, according to a county staff report.

The move is a positive change, said Board Supervisor Janice Rutherford before last week’s vote. Rutherford brought the issue to the attention of the board.

The issue had been on her mind because “I had always wondered before being elected to the board of supervisors why I couldn’t get my hands on some of those yummy Korean tacos in my own hometown, why people were driving to LA for them,” Rutherford said.

After her election, she had a constituent approach her to ask about starting a food truck business, she said. When she looked into it, she said she was surprised to learn that San Bernardino and Riverside were the only two counties in the state who did not allowed them.

“I (thought) we needed to lift that ban,” she said.

Rutherford had hoped to lift the ban entirely, but did not have the votes, according to reports. But the board did compromise.

“I’ve heard from a lot of people who are very enthusiastic about this — foodies or just entrepreneurs — and who believe in the entrepreneurial spirit and who think this would be a great thing for this region to have,” Rutherford said.

There have been concerns expressed by some businesses and residents about litter and cleanliness, she said. Others worried about the competition the trucks might pose.

As far as the safety of the food, Rutherford said on top of the efforts that cities and counties will put in keeping the trucks safe, she encouraged people to be discriminating. The supervisor said the issues would be addressed as they worked out the process.

San Bernardino has joined a movement sweeping through Southern California. Many of today’s food trucks are nothing like the stereotype of the  “roach coach.” The Food Network has devoted an entire show to the rolling restaurants. And Los Angeles food truck events pack hundreds.

On June 18, Citizens Business Bank Arena held its own large event with the IE Food Truck Fest. The event drew 11,800 from San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles counties.

The event was so successful that a second event has been planned for Oct. 8 also at Citizens Bank Arena. This time organizers said it would include a brew fest. The city of Riverside is also planning its own event Labor Day weekend.