February 6, 2023 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Food Truck Fines Update

In January, Brentwood News reported on the ongoing issue of food trucks in Brentwood that are causing public safety hazards.

On June 14, a possible amendment to an ordinance introduced by CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin, aimed at cracking down on food truck operators who regularly park illegally in residential areas and “eat” the cost of the ticket as part their overhead, was sent back to the Transportation Committee by the Los Angeles City Council.

The full council, following three previous delayed votes on Bonin’s proposed amendment, determined it needs fine-tuning before it comes up for a vote.

Bonin previously declined to discuss the delay in voting on the amendment, saying he would not comment until it came back up for discussion in open session.

The City Attorney’s Office, which crafted the amendment, also declined to comment.

Matt Geller, CEO of the Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association, said the delay might be due to objections his organization has raised over the legality of amending the ordinance in question.

According to Geller, the ordinance the council is seeking to amend was declared unconstitutional by a Superior Court judge in 2009, and then-LAPD Chief William Bratton sent a memo that year instructing officers not to enforce the ordinance in light of the court ruling.

“The ordinance was struck down by the courts. For some reason they didn’t know that,” Geller said.

Food trucks are limited to parking in residential neighborhoods for 30 minutes, but current city law only allows one ticket to be issued per day for a violation. The proposed amendment would create escalated penalties for each 30-minute increment during a parking violation in a residential area.

Bonin, who chairs the Transportation Committee, has said the idea for the amendment grew out of complaints that food truck operators in the Brentwood area were illegally parking and refusing to move, which was causing a safety

hazard in some areas, including the intersection of Bundy Drive and Shetland

Lane, where several serious auto collisions have occurred.

“We have a system now that hasn’t been particularly effective at addressing the problem of some of these vehicles parking sometimes in very difficult places at key intersections that are creating a public safety problem. And part of the problem is that DOT’s practice and habit is to issue one $73 ticket,” Bonin said in January. “And to most folks, these things arevery profitable, particularly on the upper scale, and they just eat that $73 cost as part of doing business.”

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