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Decisive meeting for food truck ordinance negotiations on Friday

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It’s crunch time for the negotiations over a new food truck ordinance: The city, food trucks operators and restaurant owners will hold what all parties see as a potentially decisive meeting Friday.

Brad Wasson, manager of the city’s revenue division, will present a proposal with the hope of obtaining approval from both parties. 

“We’ve put together a kind of straw man proposal for them to look at,” Councilman Jay Schenirer said. “My hope is that it’s something they could both live with, and if so, we figure out how to go forward and implement it."

Under the current Sacramento city code, food trucks can stay on the street until 6 p.m. in winter months and 8 p.m. in summer months with a 30-minute parking limit, which includes preparation time. Food trucks are also not allowed to park on private vacant lots or next to parking meters.

Chris Jarosz, co-organizer of the NorCal Food Trucks coalition and owner of Wicked ’wich, said the trend of food trucks run by chefs is a relatively new concept to Sacramento, since most of these trucks emerged about a year ago. He said the current law reflects the needs of more traditional food trucks.

NorCal Food Trucks met with Schenirer and Councilman

Rob Fong twice recently.

One idea that has been a focus of the negocations has been developing dedicated spaces for mobile food vendors called “pods.”

Past discussion topics have included giving food trucks more time to park on the street, extending the curfew and giving food trucks the ability to park on private property with the consent of the owner.

Keith Breedlove, owner and chef of Papa Dale’s Drivin’ Diner, said his top concerns are curfews and permitting access to meter parking and private property.

“Private property is the really big one,” he said. “If someone wants to invite us to park at their lot, we can’t really, and that’s a consumer saying we want you here, and we can’t access it.”

Jarosz said that NorCal Food Trucks believes that regulations are necessary because, like in any business, there are “bad actors” who try to take advantage of a situation.

“We feel that having some regulations in place to protect both restaurants and food trucks is a good thing,” he said.

Breedlove said that the restaurant owners who attended the last meeting with the council members were very pro-food truck.

Executive Chef and co-owner of the Paragary Restaurant Group Kurt Spataro said that he is generally supportive of the idea to revise ordinances and plans to listen in on the discussion July 20.

“I’m basically supportive of the idea, and I like the concept of entrepreneurship and bringing more people in the food business and the restaurant business,” he said. “There just needs to be some parameters set, and we’re in the process of doing that.”

Schenirer said they hope to have a more defined plan by Friday afternoon.

“If it’s a positive meeting, then I think we’re on a roll, but if not, then frankly I’m not sure where we will go with it," he said.

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