In December 2010, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed new legislation revising the city's regulations for food trucks seeking to park on the street. The goal: helping San Francisco's street food scene grow and making it easier for food truck operators get up and running.
In the past year, both food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants have discovered gaps in the existing regulations and flaws in the new ones -- flaws that sometimes put the two groups at odds with one another, especially when it comes to parking on downtown streets
. Supervisor Scott Wiener has stepped in to mediate, putting together a working group of representatives from both sides.
The first result of that working group: proposed legislation that Wiener is introducing to the Board of Supervisors today. One of the gaps that has emerged is that the city's planning code doesn't currently allow food trucks to park on the campuses of universities and hospitals such as SF State, USF, or SF General. "Right now, if you are one of these institutions that are not in a commercial district," Wiener explains, "you can't put a food truck there. This expands food options for students."
It's a small change, really, that presages larger changes to city regulations Wiener hopes to make. Next on his agenda is addressing a more pressing flaw: Currently, food trucks aren't allowed to park within 1,500 feet of a middle school or high school -- as several members of his working group have pointed out, that's 500 feet more than the limits imposed on medical marijuana dispensaries. "This puts off limits huge swaths of the city, including most of the Mission," Wiener adds, encouraging what he calls "overconcentration" of trucks downtown.