After three years of sometimes contentious discussions, the Oakland City Council is poised to propose a pilot plan to allow Oakland’s numerous and varied food truck offerings a chance to set up in “pods” that is, groupings where few restaurants or other food services already exist, and be permitted as a group.
Karen Hester, long time event promoter, said that it will allow Oakland entrepreneurs like her to plan ahead knowing how many trucks will be allowed and what will be required of them. Previously, food trucks were only allowed in the Fruitvale district where Taco trucks have blazed a trail of high quality, less expensive offerings in areas where people are comfortable walking up and taking their food elsewhere to eat.
But, as a result of some problems encountered in the Fruitvale program, food entrepreneurs have engaged in a long arduous process over the last few years to reach the point where a citywide pilot would even be considered. Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan and Jane Brunner seemed to have found the magic formula that five
members of the City Council may be willing to take a chance on.The agreement, which was crafted with the assistance of the restaurant association, hinges on food trucks forming these pods as opposed to wandering the retail landscape on their own and dwelling in a shady legal arena. Now they will be permitted only with the assent of local brick and mortar businesses and in areas that are less served.
In recent years the food truck business has risen to a fine art and is seen as entry level business ownership that also employs local workers.
Watch the video for more comments from the proponents as well as some questions on the proposal. It was to be heard at the City Council Tuesday, December 6th. The proponents believe they have the votes to pass the pilot measure.
UPDATE: It passed unanimously.