Lindsay readies for mobile food vendors

City staff introduces possibility of adding regulations that will allow food trucks to do business in Lindsay

LINDSAY – Gone are the days of the roach-coach food trucks that left people feeling queasy after scarfing down three or more tacos. Here are the days for inventive, eclectic and scrumptious dishes parked outside your office for a delicious lunch break.

Food trucks driving from town to town have become so popular that cities are trying to keep up their regulations just to let them in. The latest city to reimagine their code is Lindsay, who reviewed their mobile food vendor ordinances last month.

According to assistant city planner Edward Real, vendors have been trying to come into Lindsay, and Mayor Ramona Caudillo can’t wait to open the door.

“I’m for taco trucks. I’m for this, I think it’s good revenue for us, I think it’s a good way for more prospects of opportunity for these people to come in and make money off their truck and then maybe even rent a spot,” Caudillo said.

Current regulation in the city of Lindsay only manages sidewalk vendors, but there is nothing on the books to allow for food trucks. Regulations that Lindsay could adopt, and are often found in other cities, look at when and where trucks can be. According to Real, Los Angeles plainly states that food trucks and mobile vendors shall not operate in a manner which will interfere with or obstruct the free passage of pedestrians or vehicles along any such street, sidewalk or parkway.

The regulations Lindsay is considering fall along the same lines. Real noted that: food trucks must follow all applicable traffic rules; no food trucks are allowed in the commercial district; there must be an established distance from parks and schools; a distance must be established from brick-and-mortar restaurants; duration restrictions could be four hours in one spot; establish an hours of operations; tables and chairs are allowed.

Sidewalk vendors have quite a few regulations already on the books. Their “receptacle” cannot exceed 4 feet long, 4 feet wide or 4 feet tall. They can only sell on an 8-foot-wide sidewalk or pathway, and are prohibited to sell between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

There are only slight differences in regulations between sidewalk and potential food truck vendors. Sidewalk vendors don’t require state licensing. If they are serving food they do need an environmental health permit from Tulare County. For the city they would need a sidewalk vending permit and a business license.

Food trucks on the other hand need a Housing and Community Development (HCD) insignia. They need an environmental health permit; commissary form; toilet facility use form; food managers certificate and vehicle inspection from Tulare County. And they would need a mobile vending permit, business license and fire inspection from the city of Lindsay.

City staff estimated they could have language for a new regulation ready for review this month.

Start typing and press Enter to search