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Food truck owners might have to get moving or land in jail

April 3, 2008 |  2:52 pm

TruckFans of taco truck fare might have to do a little more driving  to hunt down their favorite meal on wheels. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is considering a new law  that could leave the owners of taco and catering trucks facing jail time if they park in the same spot too long.

Currently,  the food trucks that overstay the 30-minute limit in unincorporated Los Angeles County  are subject only to a fine. But, as the San Gabriel Valley Tribune notes, the ordinance proposed by Supervisor Gloria Molina makes the violation a misdemeanor, which can carry jail time.

The  proposal, which received a preliminary OK on Tuesday subject to a final vote next week, comes in response to long-standing complaints about the trash, traffic problems and other nuisances related to all types of catering trucks, not just those selling tacos, said Aaron Moreno, a legislative aide to state Assemblyman Charles Calderon, who has sponsored legislation clarifying the role of cities and counties to regulate the vehicles.

"There are vending trucks that sell Chinese food or sandwiches or tacos," Moreno said.   "The goal is to make sure they don't stay parked for hours on end and bring up public safety issues."

Under the proposed ordinance, the county would actually increase the time trucks can park in any one spot in a commercial area to 60 minutes from 30 minutes, making it consistent with the City of Los Angeles.

However, as any street food diner will tell you, taco trucks have become such permanent features in some neighborhoods that many residents use them as navigational landmarks. That’s what the blogger behind Son Mis Locuras discovered when someone sent her directions to a favorite Boyle Heights taco truck:

“Go south on Soto, take a left at Olympic, and then look for three taco trucks.  The first truck has the best ceviche.”

-- Jesus Sanchez

Photo: Bandini / LA Taco