Dear Mayor Johnson, Sacramento and Elk Grove City Council members, Senator Steinberg and Assemblyman Dickinson:
I am writing today to urge you and your colleagues to reconsider and re-work existing regulations on mobile food vendors, and take a common-sense approach toward these promising small businesses. Changing ordinances is essential to enhancing Sacramento’s economic development, creating local jobs, boosting tax revenue, and helping Sacramento further establish itself as a thriving metropolitan food destination.
The residents in and around the city of Sacramento have repeatedly demonstrated enthusiastic support for changing current city ordinances that unduly regulate mobile food vendors. In April, 2011, over 10,000 people attended the first mobile food festival in Sacramento, and over 3,000 signatures of support were submitted to the Council. Thousands of Sacramento residents also showed up in support of mobile food vendors at subsequent events in September and December. In total, over twenty thousand
Sacramento residents have shown up at events to demonstrate that they want these mobile restaurants, and residents would like to see mobile food businesses have a fair chance at thriving in our community.
I urge the City Council to act. Bring forward common-sense, appropriate, and fair ordinances. Be willing to publicly debate this issue, and vote quickly to approve new ordinances that support these local businesses.
Therefore, I urge you to ask the Law & Legislation Committee to put the interests of constituents first and to bring before the Council a proposal for new regulations that serve Sacramento's citizens and small businesses equally, while staying consistent with State Vehicle Code 22455. As you may know, current Sacramento regulations - city code 5.68.170 - require trucks to move every 30 minutes, even though it often takes longer for a truck to park, set up, take orders, start cooking, and serve patrons.
These regulations prohibit trucks from selling on private property, even when they have paid rent or been invited by the property owner, for more than the 30 minute limit. Vending at public events such as Second Saturday, private or public parties, or local business openings is also prohibitive due to the current ordinances. These regulations require trucks to adhere to specific and very limited hours of business – legal vending hours vary depending on the month - none of which are in the best
interest of either public health or safety, as stipulated by the State Vehicle Code.
These mobile restaurants are required to abide by the same tax, health, litter, light and noise requirements that apply to brick-and-mortar restaurants. Why restrict these mobile restaurants – local taxpayers, employers, and employees – any further?
I respectfully ask that the City Council review and draft new regulations to govern these small businesses and their employees as soon as possible. Please give mobile food business owners a chance to flourish, as they can significantly contribute to the already spectacular food culture in Sacramento and surrounding areas.
Yours most sincerely,