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San Francisco Supervisors May Relax Food Truck Restrictions Near Schools

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Customers line up at the El Tonayense taco truck on Harrison and 13th St. in San Francisco. (Dan Lu)

Customers line up at the El Tonayense taco truck on Harrison and 13th St. in San Francisco. (Dan Lu)

BarbaraTaylor_KCBS_0001r Barbara Taylor
Barbara Taylor is the long time San Francisco City Hall Bureau Chief...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is considering legislation relaxing restrictions on food trucks near city schools.

Food trucks play a critical role in the culture in San Francisco, according to Supervisor Scott Wiener, who introduced the legislation. Wiener also introduced a resolution opposing state legislation that would essentially ban the trucks from most neighborhoods in the city by requiring that food trucks keep a minimum distance of 1,500 feet from all schools, both public and private.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

According to Wiener, because of San Francisco’s density, Assembly Bill 1678, which was authored by Assemblyman Bill Monning, D-Carmel, would ban food trucks in all but a handful of neighborhoods, including the Haight, the Castro and the Mission.

“This is a very non-urban approach … 1,500 feet — three blocks — is a big deal, particularly when you’re talking about every school in the city,” Wiener said.

The legislation aims to relax an existing San Francisco ordinance that bars food trucks within 1,500 feet of public middle and high schools, with an exception for trucks operating in parks.

The ordinance was enacted to encourage students to participate in school lunch programs. However, although most of the city’s public high schools allow students to leave campus during lunch, middle schools do not — which Wiener said means there is no reason to ban the trucks near those schools.

“We overshot,” Wiener said of the city law.

His recommended revision would reduce the minimum distance to 500 feet, or about one city block.

“Regulating food trucks does not mean killing off food trucks,” he said. “It’s about balance.”

Assemblyman Bill Monning, the author of the state legislation, told the Bay Citizen that he will modify his bill so as not to interfere with vendors selling at commercial sites to adults. He said that the goal of his legislation was to protect children, not penalize food truck vendors.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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