Woodland mobile food vendors could face new restrictions if they don’t keep moving.
The Community Development Department plans to unveil proposed new rules for mobile food vendors at 6 p.m. today in Meeting Room No. 1 at the Community Center on 2001 East St. Officials say the question-and-answer session will be handled in both English and Spanish.
Between 11 and 13 local vendors pick one location and stick with it, Community Development Department Deputy Director Paul Siegel said. Such vendors are exempt from a suite of regulations full restaurants must comply with, including ADA rules, zoning regulations and sign requirements.
The CDD’s proposal includes a cap on business licenses for existing food vendors. But Siegel said the rest of the policy is supposed to regulate vendors that don’t move, not vendors who travel from construction site to construction site.
“The minute they stop doing that, they become more like a fixed-location structure,” he said. “Once they do that, it’s important for us to regulate them, more like a building.”
Mobile vendors who pick one location could be subject to rules preventing them from parking on dirt lots or within 20 feet of driveways and 40 feet of intersections to ensure parking for customers. At what Siegel said was at the request of the school district, the vendors would be banned from parking within 300 feet of schools. The policy would also ban most furniture and limit their signs and banners, setting vendors apart from restaurants.
The proposed rules could be subject to change before the city votes on them at a later date. Even then, if approved, the current proposal would allow a 12-month window before the rules take effect. After that violators would be cited $100 and only if they fail to come into compliance after working with an appointed code enforcement officer.
The city’s goal is not to cite vendors but to bring them into compliance, Siegel said.
“We’re not trying to get rid of them,” he said. “We feel like they’re a valuable business for the community.”
As of Tuesday, Siegel said he had sent notices in Spanish to the affected businesses but had yet to receive a response.
More information is available by calling the Community Development Department at 661-5820. The public is encouraged to send written comments by e-mail to email@example.com or by mail to 520 Court St., Woodland, 95695.