Richmond Puts the Brakes on New Food Truck Sales

By Katherine Tam | Contra Costa Times

A rising number of outdoor food vendors has Richmond approving a 45-day moratorium on new trucks until they can sort out the rules of doing business from a truck or a stand.

The City Council on Tuesday approved the temporary ban, which expires April 1.

City planners have issued 16 permits for food or produce trucks, a hot dog stand and a flower stand. But some have begun complaining about the number of trucks rolling around the city, and the county health department wants to look at how the food is prepared.

The city law that allows outdoor vendors is designed to help people start businesses, with the intent that they would eventually transition to a permanent storefront, Planning Director Richard Mitchell said. A number of vendors have come in to renew their permits or to ask for changes in ownership or operations.

Officials will now look at revising their regulations. They will consider how many vendors ought to be allowed, if they hurt businesses that operate out of storefronts, how they make a commercial area look, and if the standards for preparing food and throwing away garbage should be changed.