South Lake Tahoe City Council requests minor changes to mobile vending ordinance
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Regulations establishing a pilot program for food trucks in the city will be slightly delayed after City Council requested several changes Tuesday, Jan. 15.
The program, as proposed and approved by the Planning Commission in December, would allow for six private property locations in the city to host mobile vendors for one year. The program is established as part of a larger package of changes to the city’s mobile vending policies.
There would be no cap on the number of total vendors, although each of the six locations could only host three vendors at a time.
Each of the six applicants would need written permission from the property owner allowing mobile vending on the property.
Any applicant within 200 feet of the primary public entrance to a restaurant would need permission of that restaurant in order to obtain one of the applications.
The pilot program and its limitations on the number of locations that can host mobile food vendors is designed to address concerns from brick-and-mortar businesses.
Speaking to council, Tahoe Chamber CEO Steve Teshara said the changes were a good starting place.
After some discussion, council directed staff to make some changes to the requirements for a mobile vendor license.
Specifically council requested a “live scan” background check requirement from applying to operators in addition to the owner. Rather, the operators would be required to provide a driver’s record from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
As staff explained, the “live scan” requirement was carried over from the old ordinance. It was meant to apply to ice cream truck operators, which are allowed to operate due to a current provision allowing mobile vendors to operate on public streets providing they don’t stay in one location for more than 15 minutes.
Several members of council said the requirement would be too onerous for food truck owners, who may experience high employee turnover, to submit employees to this form of background check.
However, Police Chief Brian Uhler said he would still like to see the requirement apply to ice cream truck operators, who work primarily in residential areas and interact with children.
Council agreed to keep the requirement for mobile vendors operating in a public right-of-way, and drop the requirement for vendors operating on private property.
The revised ordinance is expected to come back before council at its meeting in February.