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More mobile retail and food trucks could be coming to Santa Barbara

mobile vendors food trucks
John Palminteri/ KEYT
More food and retail trucks could be operating soon in Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, Ca. - Mobile food and retail trucks may be increasing on the streets of Santa Barbara in the months ahead.

The Ordinance Committee is refining its rules that cover hours of operation, vending locations, permits, proximity to schools, design of truck service windows and trash receptacles.

A downtown worker Amber Curiel says she loves them. "I just think they are great ,  it is convenient for people.   I would love to see more during the day for lunches and stuff and everybody is super busy too. It gives everybody a different crowd too." 

The committee plans to do more outreach to vendors in the next two months to see what their comments are about selling in various areas of Santa Barbara.

A small number are on the streets now, but oversized vehicles can be cited.  There are also parking concerns if they take spaces away from customers in certain business districts.

Santa Barbara City Councilmember Randy Rowse sitting on the Ordinance Committee said,  "food trucks have to go where there is a gathering of people and that is not usually a residential neighborhood. That is usually an event. You have to watch out for things like the Sunday Art Walk those kinds of things where people can take advantage of somebody else's crowd." 

In the Funk Zone, one truck sells gifts and small art works next to popular wine tasting rooms.

A corn seller  shows up on weekends on Cabrillo Boulevard.

New to Haley Street just a few steps from State and up on private property is a new crepes and boba truck.

"This is great for me. I work a block away.  I just walked over.  Getting a crepe on my break," said Curiel.

The truck operators have to hold business and health permits  and you might see them more at night than during the day.

"They got one on San Andres that is pretty good," said  worker Anthony Cavagnaro.

Others are set up on Milpas Street and in the waterfront.

Many are on private property to avoid parking issues or are booked for more profitable stopsby serving corporate meals.

"My roommate and my brother work at Procore  and they have a lot of food trucks that go there too.  I know Curvature does it,  Yardi ,  they have food trucks come for their employees.    It would be nice to have them around and have more access to them.  Instead of just on a private event basis," said Curiel.

The city says it will have a meeting with vendors within the next two months to talk about the rules and possible changes to help the small business operators and possibly generate more foot traffic and sales where they park as well.

Article Topic Follows: Money and Business

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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