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Oakland Could See An Influx of Food Trucks, Pending New Laws

If passed, it could radically change the city’s “mobile vending” scene.

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Oakland’s food truck scene may be about to change. The way it stands currently is more restrictive than San Francisco’s, but the City of Oakland has proposed a way to lessen the current limitations mobile vendors face, thereby encouraging an increase citywide. Here’s what they propose:

  • Expanding the areas where vendors can sell. Right now they are only able to sell on private property in Fruitvale and commercial streets in Central and East Oakland (International Blvd, Fruitvale, Foothill, and San Leandro Street). New laws would expand that area to downtown, West Oakland and North Oakland, plus allow organized food events in Fruitvale and on commercial streets of Central and East Oakland. As it stands, vendors can’t sell from metered parking spaces, but this would change that.

  • Allow selling food from the street and sidewalk in stands and pushcarts rather than just trucks.

  • Increase the number of "food pod" locations, or where more than two food vendors can sell together, a la Off the Grid. (Right now one event, Bites Off Broadway, manages to gather six trucks, as the result of a special vendor permit.)

There would also be a number of restrictions and laws still attached to the proposed changes, of which you can read a summarized version here or in full here. But if passed — the planning commission’s review should take place in late April or May, followed by city council voting — one can only hope there may be a variety of Off the Grid Oakland siblings in the city’s future.

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