The Riverside County Board of Supervisors today voted 5-0 to “Free the Food Trucks” in the county beginning April 8. Riverside County is possibly the only county in California that had maintained an outright prohibition on preparing hot food in a mobile food facility without a special-event permit.
Riverside’s new ordinance will enact the strictest health-and-safety regulations in the state, and will not grandfather in older-model vehicles currently permitted in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, among other places. Generally only post-2009 manufactured food trucks will qualify under these standards, preventing any of the old “roach coaches” from cruising Riverside County streets.
The ordinance specifically allows for reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions, which cities in Riverside County may put in place if they wish, and includes and implementation date of April 8. If cities feel it is necessary, they would be able to pass their own ordinances to deal with parking, zoning, or safety issues caused by food trucks within their jurisdictions. Riverside County will also consider its own limitations in unincorporated areas like in school zones and Wine Country at a meeting in the near future.
“I fought to reform Riverside County’s food truck rules because I found them to be a good example of how government has stifled small businesses and potential job creation,” said First District Supervisor Kevin Jeffries, the author of the measure. “With the help of the county Department of Environmental Health, I believe we have crafted an ordinance that will protect public health and public safety, provide new opportunities for jobs, and offer more food choices to our constituents while avoiding significant impacts on existing businesses.”
“Many entrepreneurs start with food trucks, and then later build brick-and-mortar restaurants, once they have built a customer base and a popular menu list. Other restaurants have spun-off food trucks to bring their food to a broader market. Jobs created by this ordinance include not just the owners and workers inside the trucks, but workers at the commissaries that will be necessary to serve the trucks, shared kitchen spaces, and manufacturers of food trucks—like California Cart Builder in Lake Elsinore,” said Jeffries.
For more information, contact Jeffries’ office at (951) 955-1010.