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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

More on Food Trucks and Schools: Shrinking SF Guidelines, Amending AB 1678

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 4:10 PM

click to enlarge So threatening you need to keep your kid three blocks away from it at all times. - ALBERT LAW
  • Albert Law
  • So threatening you need to keep your kid three blocks away from it at all times.

Last week, SFoodie reported that a new bill introduced into the state assembly threatens San Francisco's growing street food scene. AB 1678, introduced by Assemblymember Bill Monning of Carmel, would prohibit food trucks from parking within 1,500 feet of any elementary or secondary school during school hours. 

A number of San Franciscans, including Supervisor Scott Wiener, have pointed out that in a dense city like ours, the combined exclusion zones would end up covering 80 percent of the city.

This morning, Wiener announced that he's introducing legislation to the Board of Supervisors that would change San Francisco's food truck regulations, which currently prevent food trucks from parking within 1,500 -- three blocks -- from middle or high schools. His proposed legislation would reduce the exclusion zone around schools to 500 feet, or one block. 

Wiener argues that elementary and middle schools in San Francisco are closed campuses, anyway, which already restricts these students' access to food trucks. "It makes sense for students to be encouraged to eat school lunches," Supervisor Wiener wrote in a press release this morning. "However, when San Francisco imposed a three-block buffer around public middle schools and high schools, we overshot and undermined food diversity and choice for all San Franciscans." (A recent Burrito Justice blog post includes a map showing the amount of territory a 500-foot exclusion zone would open up to food trucks, especially in the Mission.)

What with the statewide calling campaign, petition drive, and the growing involvement of the California Restaurant Association in this issue, it appears that Assemblymember Monning is responding to the food industry's concerns. Monning just told the Bay Citizen that he is going to amend AB 1678, though he won't yet say how. 

"Our objective is not to interfere with mobile vendors selling at commercial sites, selling to adults," he told Bay Citizen reporter Katharine Mieszkowski. "We will modify the bill accordingly to make sure that the focus of our legislation to protect children at school sites, during school hours is achieved." Now will wait to see what that means.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodieand like us on Facebook.
Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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Jonathan Kauffman


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