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City to Consider Relaxed Requirements for Food Trucks

The City of Alameda is considering relaxed guidelines for food trucks. (Action Alameda News)

The City of Alameda is considering relaxed guidelines for food trucks. (Action Alameda News)

At next week’s City of Alameda Planning Board meeting, city staff will present a report that recommends slightly relaxed requirements for food truck operators.

The introduction of the food truck program in late 2011 caused consternation among some “brick and mortar” restaurant owners who felt the trucks represented unfair competition. However, the city of Alameda Planning Department says it has not received any complaints from business associations, businesses or residents over the past year.

Over the last year, the City has issued four Encroachment Permits for food trucks to operate in the public Right-of-Way at specific locations, including Harbor Bay Business Park, the 700 block of Central Avenue by 8th Street, and two locations on Park Street near the South Shore Shopping Center.

The City also issued a conditional use permit for South Shore Shopping Center, to support the weekly “Off the Grid” event on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and a conditional use permit for the flea market held every Saturday at the College of Alameda.

Now, city staff are recommending two changes to the program guidelines. The first would eliminate the annual review and renewal requirement of conditional use permits and encroachment permits, to reduce costs for operators and reduce the workload on planning department staff. Operators would still be subject to having their permits revoked if found to be operating in violation of program guidelines or the permit, however.

The second change would provide more flexibility for approving permits for on-street trucks at Alameda Point. Current guidelines require trucks to parked next to an unobstructed sidewalk of five feet or more in width; many streets at Alameda Point – an underserved area – do not have sidewalks.

The matter will come before the planning board at it’s 7:00 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, January 15th, at Alameda City Hall.

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