New Food Truck Bill Could Kill S.F.'s Street Food Scene

If AB 1678 passes

ast Tuesday, Assemblymember Bill Monning (D-Carmel) introduced AB 1678, a bill intended to prevent students from eating their lunch at food trucks instead of the school cafeteria. As it's currently written, AB 1678 would ban food trucks from parking within 1,500 feet of any school. The state bill resembles a similar ordinance passed in Novato in December — and at first glance seems similar to San Francisco's current street-food ordinance, which prevent food trucks from parking on public property within 1,500 feet of middle schools and high schools.

But the differences between current city regulations and the new bill, argues San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, are considerable. In fact, he calls the AB 1678 “terrible.” “The state law applies to elementary schools as well as middle schools and high schools, and that doesn't make sense,” Wiener says. “I don't know any elementary schools that allow their students to leave campus for lunch — and there are many more elementary schools in town.”
Just to give you a sense of what we're talking about, 1,500 feet is about three city blocks. 

“We're having a map drawn now,” Wiener adds, “but it looks like [expanding the limit to] 1,500-hundred feet from all schools would knock out the bulk of the city from having access to food trucks.” Off the Grid organizer Matt Cohen adds that San Francisco's ordinance only covers food trucks parked on the street, while the proposed state legislation is written loosely enough that it might cover private property and parks as well.

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