SAN DIEGO - Interim Mayor Todd Gloria on Thursday ordered city staff to develop an amendment to the municipal code that would allow food trucks to operate on private property.
His action was prompted by a growing controversy over renewed code enforcement efforts, which had slacked off under Bob Filner, who resigned as mayor Aug. 30.
Food trucks are currently not allowed on private property unless they're at a permitted special event. The city has looked away until recently while they set up shop in paid parking lots around the city.
With enforcement stepping up again, Curbside Bites, which books gourmet food trucks, has posted an online petition on Change.org that addresses Gloria and City Council members.
It reads, "I support food trucks being allowed to continue to operate on private property within the city of San Diego" and allows a place for an electronic signature.
Curbside Bites contends that Gloria reneged on previous city promises to not enforce the private property restriction while a new ordinance is developed.
"This is a complicated issue," Gloria said.
He said food truck operators, restaurant owners annoyed at their proximity and neighborhoods all have issues.
The interim mayor compared it with medical marijuana, where dispensaries proliferated this year because of a lack of enforcement.
"The absence of policy has allowed something to happen," Gloria said.
He said rumors that food trucks are no longer allowed anywhere in the city are untrue. He said he hopes to soon get a proposed amendment to the City Council's Land Use and Housing Commission soon.
More than 1,000 people have signed the petition, out of a goal of 1,500 set by Curbside Bites.