AB 1678, the recently introduced bill which would prevent food trucks from operating within 1,500 feet of schools, has a long way to go through the legislative process before being signed into law. However, this pending legislation is already having an effect on local efforts to address local mobile food ordinances at city hall.
A hearing about mobile food ordinances before the Sacramento City Council's Law and Legislation committee, which was set for March 20, has since been cancelled. This is the third time that food truck ordinances were to be addressed at the committee, and third time in a row that they've been knocked off the agenda. The issue won't be taken up again until a decision is reached one way or the other about AB 1678, which was introduced by Bill Monning (D-Carmel) in an effort to fight childhood obesity.
The city's Law and Legislation committee is chaired by councilmember Jay Schenirer (District 5).
"In general, he supports and appreciates the food truck movement and enjoys it," said Joe Devlin, chief of staff for Schenirer. "It's a legal gray area to begin with, and that's why there's been some hesitancy to say, 'Hey, this is what going to enforce.' That's why when the state legislation was introduced, hopefully some clarity will come out of that and we'll be able to either enforce the regulations or create our own regulations within a more clear legal landscape. We're just going to wait and see."
For Andrew Blaskovich, the owner of Drewski's Hot Rod Kitchen, news of yet another food truck hearing being cancelled leaves him flustered.
"I get (why they cancelled the hearing), but they've pushed us back many times," said Blaskovich, while shopping for his food truck supplies. "It seems like every time we're supposed to have a meeting it gets put on the backburner. It's frustrating and should've been figured out months ago."
Meanwhile, Sacramento's largest gathering of mobile food vendors is set for April 21 at 8th and W streets. Dubbed Sacto MoFo 4, the event will feature more than two dozen vendors including the debut of a Sacramento food truck that specializes in Indian food. For more information: www.sactomofo.com.
Chris Macias is the Bee's food and wine writer. Follow him on Twitter @chris_macias