California Bill Banning Food Trucks From Parking Near Schools Is Quashed

Categories: Street Eats
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Assemblymember Bill Monning (D.-Monterey), who recently introduced a bill requiring food trucks to park no closer than 1,500 feet from any school during school hours, has just withdrawn the bill from the state legislature. 

AB-1678 raised an outcry around the state because of its potential economic impact on street food. In a dense city such as San Francisco, for example, AB-1678 would have banned food trucks from 80 percent of the city.

After pressure from industry groups and politicians, Monning first amended the bill several weeks ago so that it shrunk the no-park zone to 500 feet, or one block, from public schools. 

However, mobile-food associations weren't content to let the bill stand. Matt Cohen of Off the Grid reports that Monning recently met with a group of industry associations from around the state, including Off the Grid and Southern California's Asociación de Loncheros. "We essentially said that criminalizing a class of food vendors when a whole other class of food establishments aren't addressed is inappropriate," Cohen says. By "other class" Cohen is referring to fast-food restaurants and convenience stores, which don't share the same restrictions.

This morning, Monning released a statement claiming that he will not give up on trying to prevent food trucks from selling unhealthy snacks to students. However, he acknowledged, "The challenge before us is working with a diverse group of stakeholders to establish a shared understanding about the adverse impacts of these practices and the necessity of a statewide legislative solution." In other words, AB-1678 needs to be thought through more closely.

At present, San Francisco still has a local ordinance prohibiting food trucks from parking within 1,500 feet of public middle schools and high schools. In early March, Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced legislation seeking to reduce that limit to 500 feet. It has not yet been voted on.

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8 comments
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Christine E. Sebastian
Christine E. Sebastian

So glad to hear it,...at least for now. I think he just didn't wanna back down on his bill to save face. How can this be legitimate legislating when the schools lunches themselves are not policed and neither are fast food places and convenience stores? There has to be something motivating him. Anyone heard of a chuck wagon? It would be interesting to see if those were outlawed!! I agree that childhood obesity needs to be addressed, but why food trucks especially when most of these kids can't even leave the school campus during lunch anyway? So many of the food trucks I know about in the South Bay help schools fundraise for programs that are in danger or being removed from the schools. Isn't that helping to better the schools + adding HEALTHIER options for mobile food? Mind boggling...

dieselbug
dieselbug

Monning should concentrate on the garbage being served INSIDE schools before he worries about Food Trucks.

bernadette
bernadette

In my experience, the quality of the food from many of these new food trucks leans towards the organic, sustainable, GOOD FOR YOU variety. 

Andiexb
Andiexb

Aren't kids supposed to stay in school during lunch hours? I don't understand why this is even a relevant issue?

Cyberoverload
Cyberoverload

Seriously I had most of my lunch from food trucks and to be honest it is way healthier then the trashy food from the school cafeteria that I used to endure during high school.

:P
:P

How about getting the so-called "pink slime" out of our public school system's cafeterias? That seems way more unhealthy than these food trucks. I've been to plenty of them and they provide legit, clean food. There's even vegan food trucks!

Anne  K
Anne K

Why is this assemblyman so focused on selling healthy food to kids?  In the face of all of California's problems, this is the least pressing one.  And, picking on food trucks begs askance of his fitness to serve his constituents.  I'm sure, if asked, his voters would think that he'd be better off addressing the State budget, funding for schools in his district.  

Part-time legislature for the love of Pete.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

Not to mention that school lunches tend to be heavily processed junk food anyway.  The kids are better off leaving school to eat.

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