Hermosa Beach has moved closer to allowing food trucks to operate in certain areas around town for special events or other occasions if they have a permit.
City Councilman Jeff Duclos in a meeting Tuesday night motioned that the council "adopt the recommendations of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission changing the existing city regulations to allow food trucks in certain locations."
The motion was followed by a 5-0 vote.
The Parks and Recreation Commission's food trucks subcommittee suggested policy changes that address how food trucks would operate on public property, streets and private property (see city staff report under photo.)
The commission recommended allowing truck vendors on public property in conjunction with a special event, which would require a special event permit.
The city previously has allowed food trucks to operate at special events, such as the Hermosa Beach Art Walk, with council approval.
When it comes to allowing food trucks on streets, "the city needs to further investigate consistency with state law; industry claims that trucks should not be treated differently than other large vehicles," according to the commission's recommendations.
City regulations have limited catering trucks or food vendors to operate in town for no more than 10 minutes at a location, which Kevin Behrendt of the Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association called in the council meeting, "basically... a ban."
Councilman Peter Tucker pointed out that allowing food trucks around town could hurt business for local restaurants that have rent to pay.
But some local businesses have actually requested for food trucks to come to Hermosa, such as for the monthly First Thursdays events, said City Manager Steve Burrell.
"They weren’t as afraid of them as we first thought," he told the council about business owners' responses to food trucks.
Regarding private property, the Parks and Recreation Commission recommended allowing food trucks for regular or occasional promotional or fundraising events, but subject to a permit process.
"We had established a relationship with Jack's surf shop and at the beginning I wasn't aware that parking on private property was prohibited," said Chunk-n-Chip founder Claudia Gonzalez in Tuesday's council meeting. "We are interested in coming back."
She added that many schools across Southern California have used food trucks to generate revenue during fundraising events held on private property. In neighboring Redondo Beach, a food trucks fundraiser is sometimes held to benefit Redondo Union High School.