California Assemblymember Bill Monning (D-Carmel) introduced a bill last Tuesday that would prevent food trucks from setting up shop within 1,500 feet of any school. AB 1678, intended as part of an effort to create a healthier eating environment for school children, resembles an existing ordinance in San Francisco.
But there are some important differences that have big-city officials and entrepreneurs up in arms. Unlike the Bay Area ordinance, Monning's bill bans food trucks near elementary schools as well as middle and high schools. "That doesn't make any sense," said San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener. "I don't know any elementary schools that allow their students to leave campus for lunch -- and there are many more elementary schools in town." That means that the added provision "would knock out the bulk of the city from having access to food trucks."
Critics have also pointed out that the ban would not apply to fast food outlets.
In response, a food truck advocacy group has brought together restaurateurs and enthusiasts to petition Assemblymember Monning to have a second look at the bill.