Sacramento, CA: Food Trucks, City – We’re Close to Getting an Ordinance

Mini Burger Crew hard at work. Image by: Brandon Darnell

By Brandon Darnell | Sacramento Press

Mini Burger Crew hard at work. Image by: Brandon Darnell

After two years of on-again, off-again talks, the dispute between food truck and restaurants in Sacramento might be drawing to a close – a new food truck ordinance is in the final steps of negotiation before being put to the City Council after a meeting between food truck operators, traditional restaurateurs and city officials on Friday.

“Basically, the only things that are really left to negotiate are how far a truck can park from a restaurant and for how long,” KrushBurger food truck owner Davin Vculek said.

He added that the current 30-minute time limit will likely be extended to a limit that allows a food truck to serve for a whole shift – be it lunch or dinner – in one spot.

Right now, under a 2008 ordinance, food trucks are only allowed to stop for 30 minutes at a time in city limits, and there is a curfew.

The new ordinance gives food trucks a wider berth, but in its current state prohibits them from operating within 400 feet of a restaurant – something Vcule said he would like to see amended.

“I think it’s a step in a positive direction,” Vculek said. “We meet again in two weeks and hopefully secure all the sticking points, and then it will be in the council’s hands to pass through as an ordinance.”

City Councilman Jay Schenirer, chairman of the Law and Legislation Committee – through which the ordinance must pass before going to the full council for a vote – said he thinks a lot of progress has been made, and just a few details need working out.

“This is a complicated issue,” he said. “I was very pleased with the outcome today.”

When it comes to the ordinance, he added, one option is to provide different tweaks to it for different geographic regions in the city – recognizing that the downtown/Midtown core is a different environment from Land Park, East Sacramento or The Pocket.

The next meeting will be held Aug. 3, and Schenirer said that a best-case scenario has the Law and Legislation Committee discussing the ordinance in late August or September.

“I think that the brick-and-mortar restaurant owners and the food truck operators came together and are both looking for a win-win situation here,” he said. “I think there’s still some details to be ironed out, but I’m hopeful that we can finish that Aug. 3.”

Vculek said the meeting was attended by representatives of various city departments, other food truck operators and restaurant owners. Other meeting attendees did not immediately return phone calls Friday afternoon.

“The city has made an attempt to work with both sides, and now we’re at a point where both sides have made concessions and are working on something that we can all agree on,” Vculek said.

If an ordinance is passed, Vculek said, it will likely be revisited after six months.

“It’s going to be a process,” he said. “I don’t think it’ll be set in stone.”