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Council Lifts Food Truck Ban

Food trucks may now operate in the public right of way in Arcadia.

The Arcadia City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt an ordinance lifting the city's ban on food trucks.

The ordinance allows food trucks to operate on the public right-of-way; previously, food trucks could only set up shop at Santa Anita Park, the Arboretum or during city-sanctioned special events.

The ordinance comes in response to Socal Mobile Food Vendors Association claims that the city violated state law by not allowing food trucks to operate outside of special events.

Arcadia Chamber of Commerce President Scott Hettrick said local businesses have a number of concerns regarding the ordinance and the introduction of food trucks in town.

"While we think food trucks could bring in some new customers from beyond the borders of Arcadia, the Chamber was very much opposed to the new ordinance allowing food trucks to park on just about any city street — business or residential — pretty much whenever and wherever they want, and with likely little strict enforcement of sales tax collection," Hettrick said. "We feel this presents an unfair advantage to mobile businesses based outside of Arcadia who pay no property taxes or invest in any way in Arcadia to cherry pick and siphon off business at selected prime times during lunch and dinner hours from business and property owners who maintain their Arcadia establishments 24/7 and are actively engaged in the community."

But city leaders have said the former ban on food trucks violates state law and makes Arcadia vulnerable to lawsuits. The ordinance is modeled after other successful ones in Long Beach and Manhattan Beach.

Some restrictions set up by the ordinance to protect businesses and residents include:

  • Food trucks cannot park within 10 feet of the entrance to any business during said business' operating hours. 
  • Food trucks cannot operate after 10 p.m. in residential areas, and after midnight in commercial zones.
  • Food truck vendors must keep clean up all litter, and cannot dump any liquid on city streets

The Council first discussed the proposed ordinance at a meeting last month. At that time, Council members decided to more forward with the ordinance, putting it on the Nov. 6 agenda.

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