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Auburn City Council to assess banning food trucks near Placer High

Staff recommends a 1,000-foot buffer zone
By: Jon Schultz, Journal Staff Writer
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When the Auburn City Council reconvenes for the first meeting of the New Year on Monday, one of the hotter topics from late 2012 will be back on the agenda: the mobile food truck ordinance.

The council will have a public hearing on food trucks in the public right of way, including possible adoption of a rule that would ban them from operating within 1,000 feet of Placer High School, and a second hearing on the private property ordinance.

Regarding food trucks in the public right of way, the council briefly discussed the matter at its Oct. 22 meeting, but postponed the hearing to this Monday, seeking more input from the city attorney and Placer Union High School District.

The district expressed concern to the city about having mobile food vendors operating near the Placer High School campus and asked to have a certain distance separation requirement effected, according to a city memo.

After consulting with city officials from Grass Valley, Napa and Riverside about food trucks’ proximity to schools, the planning commission recommends if the council wants to impose a distance requirement that it ban them from operating within 1,000 feet of the high school, according to the report.

“The Placer High School campus crosses numerous city streets,” wrote Dave Horsey, district superintendent, in an email to the city. “Having students in these streets during peak rush hour traffic before and after school and during lunch time presents a danger to students standing at these vehicles parked on city streets adjacent to Placer High School.”

Furthermore, the district is obliged to provide a nutritious lunch, and it is concerned about having mobile food vendors nearby the school that don’t meet federal standards, Horsey wrote.

On Dec. 3 the council held a second reading of the private property ordinance but made an amendment to the areas in which mobile food vendors would be banned.

Originally, council members voted to ban them from the Historic Design Review District, but after learning the scope was larger than some had known, the boundaries of the restriction were scaled back and a new map indentifying the prohibited areas has been created.

The council also amended the ordinance to include having food trucks be subjected to Business Improvement District fees.

If the council adopts the ordinance after the second reading, it will implemented 30 days later.

 

Jon Schultz can be reached at jons@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jon_AJNews