After much kvetching and complaining about the harmful impact of proposed City Hall rules and regulations, not one food truck operator showed up to testify about the new Zoning Ordinance this Tuesday evening. The new rules allow food truck operators to set up for up to four hours a day in private parking lots throughout the City of Santa Barbara. Initially, the proposal had been for just three hours. Current city zoning does not allow food trucks to operate out of private parking lots at all.
Food truck operators had been complaining that the new rules—coupled with existing rules governing their access to city streets—had caught them in a regulatory cross fire that rendered their hours of operation and continued economic survival problematic. In the past month several prominent operators have pulled the plug on their businesses, announcing plans to leave Santa Barbara while complaining of City Hall’s indifference and hostility. City planners noted the new zoning rules are the first to acknowledge the rights of such operations at all. Food trucks were but one—if high profile—element to be codified in the new zoning ordinance.