Summer can mean ice cream cones and beach lunches, but when they come from a mobile food vendor, there could be a problem. With the influx of tourists and other guests to La Jolla’s beaches, some residents have reported an increase in the parking of food and ice cream trucks on the streets in violation of local codes.
About a month ago, John Klitsner, a resident of La Jolla, started noticing them outside his house on Coast Boulevard. “They park right in front of my house,” he said. “They run the generator all the time, so we can’t open our window. And they block our view of the ocean and block the sidewalk.
“We saved our entire lives to live here, and I hope they move to an area that is not primarily residential. “
Klitsner said he asked a truck operator to move, but the operator refused. “The owner said he needed work and there were some great deals here,” Klitsner said.
He said he then contacted the city of San Diego and reported the situation on the city’s Get It Done app, without success.
There may not be much more he can do.
Councilor Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, told the La Jolla Light that “catering trucks are not allowed to circulate in the public right-of-way in areas of superimposed impact on the parking lot, such as the coastal streets of La Jolla”. But, he added, “the public has limited remedies if they witness such a violation.”
He suggested using the Get It Done app or calling the San Diego Police Department non-emergency line at (619) 531-2000, which could get a response from parking authorities.
Scott Robinson, a spokesperson for the city, said if a truck is on private property, residents can request an investigation into the enforcement of the code by visiting sandiego.gov/CED.
“Typically, food trucks parked and doing business in the parking impact overlay area violate San Diego municipal code and it may constitute an offense,” said Robinson. “However, some violations may be a less serious offense. If so, a food truck operator could be cited by San Diego police, park rangers, or lifeguards. ”
Brandon Broaddus, community relations officer for the San Diego Police Department, said the department “does not enforce rules with food trucks.”
Klistner said he “would like to see these trucks operate within the limits of what is legal.” So if it’s not legal, I would like them to move to a more suitable area. I understand these companies are trying to make a living and work in a hot truck, but move to where you are not in front of a residence. These trucks have no place on the coast; there is an overabundance of sellers.
Local councils have expressed concern and frustration with the growing number of vendors popping up in parks, beaches and sidewalks.
Some observers have attributed the increase to the state’s Safe Sidewalk Vending Act (Senate Bill 946), which was enacted in 2019 and allows sidewalk vending, sets parameters for its regulation and prohibits local authorities from impose criminal penalties on sidewalk vendors.
The law does not apply to motorized vehicles such as food or ice cream trucks. ◆