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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on May 23rd, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 19, Issue 12 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 19, Issue 12

Santa Maria to increase food truck enforcement in June

By KASEY BUBNASH

Santa Maria city officials plan to crack down on food trucks and enforce regulations in June after receiving an influx of food truck-related complaints.

Since the beginning of last month, Code Compliance Officer Joy Castaing said city officials have been "bombarded" with various community complaints and concerns regarding truck parking times, locations, and other impositions on brick-and-mortar restaurants.

"It was so many that literally we had five complaints over the course of one day," Castaing told the Sun.


FOOD FEST
Hungry customers wait in line outside one of the many food trucks that participated in Lompoc’s 2018 Food Truck Fest on May 16. The festival, which was organized by the Lompoc Police Department, was one of many events held that week in celebration of current and former law enforcement officials.
PHOTO BY REBECCA ROSE

The complaints have come from a wide variety of community members, Castaing said, from passersby to restaurant owners. Although Castaing said many of the incidents are still unconfirmed, callers reportedly witnessed food trucks parked in single locations for several hours, and truck workers putting out tables and chairs.

"We haven't done a catering truck detail for quite a few years," Castaing said. "But we hadn't been getting complaints until recently, so we're kind of feeling like there are a lot of newer trucks in this area, and they probably don't know what they're allowed and not allowed to do."

That's why city officials�"in partnership with the Santa Maria Police Department and the California State Park Rangers�"will start mid-June by educating food truck owners on the city's rules and regulations.

Food trucks cannot operate in Santa Maria without a city business license and Santa Barbara County Public Health Department permit posted and displayed on the vehicle, according to Mark van de Kamp, public information manager for the city manager's office.

On public property, food truck operators cannot sell between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m., within 500 feet of any public or private school, and can only stay in one location for 30 minutes at a time. On private property, where food truck operators must have a letter of permission from property owners, trucks can stay in one location for no more than 70 minutes at a time, and cannot set up tables and chairs for customers.

These regulations are included in various pamphlets that Castaing said she and other city officials plan to bring to operators during the education phase of the upcoming enforcement detail.

While Castaing said it's unlikely that most operators will be immediately cited for minor offenses, citations can be issued and the fines cost no less than $1,000.

"We definitely don't want catering trucks to feel that they're being penalized or singled out," Castaing said. "We're actually really grateful for them and the diversity they bring. We just want to make sure everyone is on the same page."




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