The City of Turlock is considering extending a ban on food trucks within parts of the city. The item was up for consideration in Tuesday’s City Council but has been pulled. However, the debate on where these mobile restaurants should conduct business is far from over.
The core of historic downtown Turlock is inviting, vibrant. But is a no-business zone for food truck owners like Silvester Valencia. “I think it’s unfair because everybody pays taxes pero (but) I don’t know,” Valencia, Owner of Viva Taco Food Truck told FOX40 on Tuesday.
Turlock’s Planning Commission is drafting an extension to an already in-effect ban on food trucks. Since November 2013, mobile restaurants have been prohibited from conducting business in the downtown core if a proposed ordinance goes into effect later this year. That ban will extend further into the city and some residential areas. “We have nothing against them, it’s just the location. That’s pretty much what it comes down to, the location of where these trucks want to go,” Karina Ramirez, Owner of Memo’s Concina said.
Restaurant owners like Ramirez argued it’s only fair that food trucks are banned from downtown. They added, unlike truck vendors restaurant owners have to pay an extra 42 cents per square foot in taxes, whereas food trucks can roll to a new location. “Nothing against any of the food trucks it’s just, it makes it hard for a business owner to price their items out around the same price,” Ramirez explained.
But some food truck vendors dished out they also have fees brick-and-mortar restaurants don’t have to consider, like multiple county inspections. “They pay more but they have more labor, more employees. I work alone here,” Valencia said.
But what it all comes down to is choice, which some have said should be left up to the consumer.
The City of Turlock may revisit the issue later this year.