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POLICY DATABASE
Policy Summary

This uncodified ordinance amends the city’s planning code to expand opportunities for mobile food vendors by clarifying that they do not have to operate only in enclosed facilities and to clarify that they are to be treated differently from bricks and mortar retail food outlets and not subject to the same regulatory requirements with respect to the Planning Code.

Background Information

State California
Jurisdiction Name San Francisco
Jurisdiction Type City, County,
Population Size 800,000+
Legal Strategies
  • Requires something, sets standards
  • Creates an exemption
Reach Community-wide
Food System Category Distribute; Get;

Policy Details

Refers to priority populations?
Unclear

Findings refer to Mobile Food Facilities as contributing " to the richness of San Francisco's culinary and cultural offerings and provide[ing] economic opportunities especially for small business-persons." (Section 1 (e).)

Health-related goal?
No

Environmental goal?
Yes

"The Planning Department has determined that the actions contemplated in this ordinance comply with the California Environmental Quality Act" Sec 1(a).

Economic goal?
Yes

Mobile food facilities "add vitality to the street, contribute to the richness of San Francisco's culinary and cultural offerings, and provide economic opportunities especially for small business-persons." (Section 1 (e).)

Includes findings?
Yes

The findings state that the ordinance complies with California's Environmental Quality Act and San Francisco's general plan; they note that mobile food facilities (or "street food" facilities) may be subject to burdensome permitting requirements in certain neighborhood commercial and mixed-use zones because they qualify as permanent uses, but yet are different from "bricks and mortar" retailers; and also that there is some confusion about whether they must operate within enclosed facilities due to their permanent (but also intermittent) operations. (Section 1.) Findings also note that "the wide range of fare provided by Mobile Food Facilities is typically offered at low or moderate prices and in many cases represents novel or innovative cuisine. When located and operated appropriately, Mobile Food Facilities add vitality to the street, contribute to the richness of San Francisco's culinary and cultural offerings, and provide economic opportunities especially for small business-persons." (Section 1 (e).)

Has a stated intent or purpose?
No

Includes definitions?
Yes

Sec 1(d)

Addresses implementation?
Yes

Provides guidance for "grandfathering" in of exeisting temporary uses. Section 3, referring to amending Sec. 205(c ) of the Planning Code.

Enforcement provisions?
No

Evaluation component?
No

Requires extra investment?
No

Code context and ordinance history

Uncodified ordinance amending the San Francisco Planning Code by adding Section 102.31; amending Section 205 and adding Section 205.4; and amending Sections 212, 790.91, 790.93 and 890.90. File No. 101351. We did not check the codified version for updating because multiple code provisions were involved.