Council: More feedback needed before changes to South Lake Tahoe food truck regs |

Council: More feedback needed before changes to South Lake Tahoe food truck regs

Claire Cudahy
Pretty Odd Wieners, parked in the lot of Roadrunner Gas Station in Meyers, operates in the county due to the city's restrictive regulations for food trucks.
Courtesy / Pretty Odd Wieners

South Lake Tahoe might be getting more food truck friendly in the near future.

At the request of several residents, South Lake Tahoe City Council is taking a look at the regulations that govern food trucks. But after Tuesday’s meeting, council is asking for more public input before it moves forward with any changes to the existing code.

In 2013 the city of South Lake Tahoe wrote an ordinance to regulate food trucks. Prior to drafting the code, a food truck could operate for a six-month period, with the option to extend, using a temporary use permit.

However, complaints over the Maya Grill taco truck parked at Tahoe Tom’s in Stateline prompted council to remove mobile vending as an acceptable use for that permit type.

The existing code doesn’t allow for a long-term operating license for parking and selling food around the city, even on private property. Instead, anyone who wants to sell food from a truck must apply for a temporary activity permit, which cannot exceed four days.

Some mobile food vendors, like ice cream trucks, are able to operate in South Lake Tahoe with a long-term permit, but are restricted to conducting business within 15 minutes at any given spot.

Nicole Smith, owner of South Lake Brewing Company, has been a vocal proponent of changing the regulations for food trucks. SLBC, which does not serve food, frequently hosts the mobile wood-fired pizza catering company, Oven. Oven operates under a catering license.

On Tuesday, Smith reported that she had collected more than 680 signatures from people in support of crafting more food truck-friendly regulations. However, after seeing the mixed results from a Tahoe Chamber survey of 80 restaurant owners in the area, she felt additional public comment was necessary before moving forward with an amended ordinance.

Council agreed, and there was consensus to host a public workshop to gather more feedback from the community. A date for the workshop has not yet been set.

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