A food truck "park" in San Francisco
photo credit: (Credit: Carnesaurus)
Food trucks may become part of the Healdsburg vibe in the future, after elected leaders agreed to explore the possibility Monday.
A final decision is likely months away. City officials vowed to conduct outreach, and consider locations, hours and a cap on vendors.
In introducing the concept, vice mayor Osvaldo Jimenez said he is cognizant of, respects and does not want to undermine the financial success of Healdsburg's restaurateurs.
"But I also think it's really important on the other side to make sure that working class families have food options in town and having a designated area on a bi-monthly basis, or whatever frequency council decides, but I think having a place we can sanction as either an event or amend our city ordinance to allow food trucks to come to the community center, that was the goal of my introduction of this topic."
Members of the public addressing the council Monday were largely supportive. Equipment, permits, licensing and extreme rents largely prevent all but the best capitalized entrepreneurs from setting up shop. Legalizing food trucks beyond special events and farmer's market days, could be a viable pathway for innovative chefs with more chops than investors.
That was among the arguments presented by Healdsburg resident Luisa Lopez, who says the addition of food trucks could bring additional vibrancy and community.
"Low income and disadvantaged communities do not dine downtown, they do not congregate downtown, they only sustain downtown businesses through their hard work happening in the back (of the) house," she said.
Any discussion will likely continue in the new year as to locations, hours and other aspects, along with feedback from restaurant operators and the business community.
Councilwoman Ariel Kelley said she is hopeful food trucks can fit in.
"I would love to see us look at a program where we had, we would look at places within the city to actually permit a food truck park that would be a physical location that was always for food trucks, and then also looking at zones within the city that could allow them to operate and wouldn't take away from the downtown businesses."