Zoning for Food Trucks
Contributing Editor Nate Berg writes in GOOD: "[Matt Geller, president of the Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association] and his cadre of industrious truck owners had actually tried in early January to set up another mobile food truck lot in nearby Santa Monica, but they were shut down by the city after only one day due to zoning violations. They were parking in the lot of an unused former car dealership, a space volunteered by its owner. But 'mobile food truck vending' is not among the 44 approved land uses listed in the city of Santa Monica's zoning code for that particular property and city officials came early on day two to enforce.
While the food vendors and their enthusiastic followers may have been miffed by the harsh realities of zoning, some city planners see it as a broader and potentially city-changing issue. For a city with notoriously sparse streetlife, the food trucks breathe new life into Los Angeles. Otherwise empty, unused, and essentially dead space, the small lot has found new life through these trucks, and helped to revive a small piece of the landscape."