tv [untitled] June 10, 2013 1:30pm-2:01pm PDT
a very interesting and cutting edge food scene. it's important for us to embrace this innovation and to encourage it. food trucks are a key part of this culture. they provide new and interesting kinds of food, flexibility. it is a good place for new entrepreneurs to enter the food industry. and we see many young people, immigrants, and women who enter the food industry through food trucks. one example is la cocina, a wonderful organization with a food truck in dolores park that allows primarily immigrant women to turn their skills for cooking into entrepreneurship. food trucks also help activate public spaces, bringing people outside to gather, to get to know their neighbors, activating sidewalks, plazas, et cetera.
the food truck movement is important and has broad popular support. we see this in the long lines for many food trucks in our city. we also saw it in the vehement opposition to assembly bill 1678 which would have dramatically reduced food trucks being able to operate, leaving few if any food trucks in san francisco. two years ago, and i stress that, two years ago, i got involved in this issue for a number of reasons. it wasn't an issue i had campaigned on or intended to take on when i came into office. but i got involved for a number of reasons. first, we were seeing increasing conflict between food trucks and brick and mortar restaurants. due to insufficiently detailed and clear permitting standards, this was causing chaos and uncertainty for both brick and mortar restaurants and food trucks with numerous appeals at the board of permit appeals.
and i actually think that the people who are probably going to be happiest about this legislation is the commissioners on the board of appeals who have been seeing a lot of food truck permits. of course it's not in anyone's interest to have a system where the bulk of the permits are getting appealed. it becomes unpredictable, expensive and cumbersome for everyone. so, my goal is to rationalize our permitting process which is overly restrictive in some ways and not restrictive enough in other ways. and in doing so, to foster and continue to foster an interesting and cutting edge food scene in our city. two years ago i convened a working group of stakeholders who were interested in trying to come to a resolution, to ensure fair and clear and evenhanded treatment of everyone. for the last two years we have been working as a group. we work closely with the building owners and managers
association, boma, with the golden gate restaurant association, with off the grid, and have been in regular contact with other organizations, neighborhood groups, merchant groups, business improvement districts. we've also worked closely with the school district and with the school district's food and fitness committee. one problem we quickly encountered was that our zoning for food trucks was very restrictive in some areas which can lead to overconcentration in the areas that are not restricted. we discovered that our planning code prohibits food trucks on many college and hospital campuses unless they're zoned as commercial, which they usually are not. and that's despite the fact that i think a lot of college and campuses would want to have food trucks. in addition, a number of years ago the board of supervisors passed legislation banning food trucks on streets within 1500 feet, i.e., three blocks on
average, around all middle schools and high schools. the 1500 foot rule was well intentioned, but led to consequences. a three-block radius around every single middle school and high school in the city in all directions is quite extreme, and for some high schools and middle schools that are embedded in commercial areas, it can effectively preclude food trucks from the bulk of the neighborhood. and we've seen that in the mission, many parts of the mission it is illegal to operate a food truck on a street because of that rule. and the extent of the 1500 foot rule conflicts with the spirit of neighborhood integrative schools where neighborhoods, schools coexist, and help each other, as opposed to one dictating what the other can have in terms of food choices or anything else. it's also important to protect the school lunch program, which is why the 1500-foot rule was enacted in the first place.
we want to support that program. we want to make sure that there is equity so that you don't have wealthier kids leaving school and lower income kids staying in the cafeteria. and we certainly don't want to drain money from the school lunch program. i initially proposed a 500 foot or one block buffer for all middle and high schools, in other words, reducing 1500 feet to 500 feet. after extensive negotiation with the district and others, the amended version of my legislation provides for a 500 foot buffer around middle schools and that either a 750 or 1,000 foot buffer around high schools. and the reason that we went with the two-tiered system was we wanted to do a thousand for high schools, but there was a small -- there are a small number of high schools that are so close to commercial areas and are surrounded by commercial airs az that a
thousand feet would still be overly restricted. so, we went with 750 feet for that small number of schools ~. and the legislation as noted will now allow food trucks on hospital and college campuses. in addition, for the first time the legislation establishes a 75-foot buffer zone around existing restaurants, measured from the front entrance to the restaurant, and provides that a food truck cannot park on a street within 75 feet of that entrance. the legislation will also improve noticing. currently only businesses receive notice of a permit application unless it's after hours, in which case residents also receive notice. the legislation will continue to have notice to residents for after hours applications and then for daytime applications
we'll provide notice to both -- not just businesses, but also owners and managers of commercial property and to neighborhood associations listed with the planning department. the legislation will provide that a food truck can be in a specific location for up to three days a week and that every seven years the food truck will have to go through the permit renewal process. the legislation also extends formula retail controls to food trucks. we saw recently a burger king food truck opening up in manhattan and this legislation provides that if a business as a brick and mortar business is already formula retail, then the same formula retail controls will apply if they decide to open up a food truck. so, formula retail is banned, the formula retail truck will be banned if conditional use is required -- actually, no, i'm sorry.
the formula retail controls will follow the food truck onto the street. and then in addition, the legislation will improve enforcement against food trucks that operate without permits. currently food trucks have to get -- sign up with the department of public health and have to have annual health inspections. they also have to have a permit from the department of public works. dpw has had significant trouble enforcing against food trucks that don't have permits for lack of staffing and also because dpw notices of violation are very difficult to actually get full enforcement on. you have to end upbringing court action. ~ the legislation includes an amendment to the transportation code that will allow mta parking control officers to ticket food trucks operating without permits and those tickets can then be enforced
through the dmv. so, colleagues, that was a mouthful. this legislation, again, has resulted from two years of very, very, very intensive negotiation among the various stakeholders. i will acknowledge that i don't think anyone is jumping up and down about every aspect of the legislation, as with all negotiation and all compromise, there are different aspects that different people maybe like a little more or like a little less. but this is a compromise that resulted from very, very deep and extensive negotiation. and i think we have a good result that is a significant and more predictable regulatory scheme than we have today, and i hope you will support it. so, if there are no introductory remarks, i do have several brief presentations from departments and from some
of the key stakeholders in the negotiations. i want to start with sophie hayward from the planning department. ms. hayward? >> good afternoon, chair wiener and supervisors. sophie hayward, planning staff. the proposed ordinance is considered at the april 19, 2012 planning commission hearing and the planning commission passed resolution number 185 876 0, recommending approval with technical modifications to the proposed ordinance ~. and the proposed amendment to the planning code is limited in scope. it would allow an intermittent activity, such as a mobile food facility, within our rm, red, or [speaker not understood] zoning districts provided the use is located on a parcel that contains a medical institution or post secondary institution. and then further, any intermittent activity permitted in these residential districts is subject to restrictions on
hours of operation between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. unless you have any questions, that pretty much concludes my presentation. >> thank you, ms. hayward. i realize i misspoke before about formula retail trucks. what the legislation provides is that if formula retail is allowed as of right, a formula retail establishment can have a formula retail truck if formula retail is either banned or requires conditional use, then the formula retail truck would be banned. and that is so we don't have -- i think the planning department was a bit hesitant to have conditional uses starting to apply to our roadwaysbecause that would be unprecedented. ~ >> that is correct. >> thank you. supervisor kim? >> i do have a question, because i know in the c-3 formula retail as of right, and i think one of the last things i want to see is a burger king or mcdonald's with a truck all up and down market street. so, i just wonder if there's been any consideration about that. i know that that is an area
that we allow formula retail, but i just really think that that's just not the direction i want to be headed in. i certainly wouldn't want to see them popping up. >> i can address that. so, actually, i agree with you, supervisor kim. and this is one of those areas where this one particular aspect -- i don't know that there is necessarily a right answer, and i look forward to discussion about it. i think there is a case to be made, we could ban it city-wide. and we took a middle path, but i'm open to other suggestions on this particular aspect. >> so, i guess i'm just open to some guidance and advice in the future. i think a lot of us support food trucks because it can be a great low-cost way for small businesses to get started.
new venture folks that are starting to have an idea and it can be a lower barrier to entry, i guess, into the marketplace. and i don't think that we really foresaw kind of large scale retail like burger king, which i did not know about, using that as a model as well to kind of increase the number of locations that they may have here in the city. >> i very much appreciate that. to be clear, what we're voting today is currently right now -- [multiple voices] >> i support that. >> there is a case to at least think about whether to go further, maybe in trailing legislation. >> thank you. >> yes. okay, thank you, ms. hayward. next, the youth commission which considered and endorsed the school buffer zone component. we have alan lu from the youth commission, also the vice-chair of the commission, nicholas persky. so, thank you for being here.
>> hi, nicholas persky, the vice-chair of the youth commission. i have some memorandums from when we considered the legislation last april. i just wanted to express our gratitude for you guys referring the piece of legislation to the youth commission. and on april 16th of 2012, we passed a motion that supported this ordinance to amend public works code section 184.85. and we asked questions. i feel that we, you know, fully vetted this legislation from the youth perspective. and we feel that this legislation helped strike a balance between two things, which is the sfusd's needs, which is to protect their school lunch program, but also to, you know, provide more opportunity for food truck owners and the food truck industry. and just speaking from the youth perspective, i personally don't leave my school, you know, to eat lunch, but youth are really, really motivated by food. and to the extent that, you
know, it's 1500 feet or 500 feet or 1,000 feet, youth are willing to go, you know, pretty far just for food. so, i would definitely support this because, you know, youth are going to get food anyway. and, you know, we really -- at the same time simultaneously, we need to, you know, support food trucks. so, yeah. thank you. >> thank you. commissioner -- supervisor kim has a question for you, mr. persky. >> thank you for being here. i appreciated your memo. i read it over the weekend. i agree with some of the thinking. you know, there' brick and mortar restaurants that may or may not sell healthy food less than 1500 feet from a school ~. and, so, it seems strange to single out food trucks from that legislatively. but i guess i like your thoughts on a thousand and 750 or the commissioner's thoughts on that. for me i have to be honest, i'd
rather just have one footage from all high schools. and the reason why is for my time on the board, i know that there's a little bit of fluidity amongst our schools. schools change or open school policy, not every year, but i know changes happen. [speaker not understood] had an open campus, then it was closed campus. and i also know we often co-locate so size is a variable and we're okay being closer to small schools than large schools. some of our small schools might grow or co-locate another school there. so, i'm just kind of curious with that, if you wanted that kind of level of detail. ~ went into efficient >> i'm not a planning expert. i'm a high cooler. [laughter] >> as far as the 750 foot, code stuff, that's not exactly, you know, my specialty. but i think i would just refer to what i said earlier. i mean, i think 750 would be
okay because, i mean, youth don't really think about is it an extra 250 feet to go get food. they're just going to go get the food. that's just kind of what's on our mind. it's not really that much of an issue walking 250 feet. >> okay, thank you. >> perhaps supervisor kim gave a little background here. when i initially proposed legislation, it was 500 feet or one block across the board. and, so, when the youth commission considered it, they considered the 500 feet. >> i see. >> and they endorsed the 500 feet. thereafter, we were negotiating with the school district and with the food and fitness committee and part of the negotiation we extended it. i would have been actually happy to keep it at 750 feet ~ across the board. but because the school district was very interested in a thousand feet for high schools, we compromised by saying a
thousand feet, except for a few schools -- and it wasn't so much about whether they were a closed or open campus. as you know, that changes and different schools have different policies around who can go off campus or if everyone can go off campus. it was more about what the impact would be on the surrounding neighborhood if it it was a thousand or 750. o'connell, gally lay owe. [speaker not understood]. a thousand could cause more of an issue there. so, that was really the thinking rather than who is open at this point in time or who has a closed campus at this point in time. but i would have been happy to have it at 750 for everyone. we were trying to be accommodating to the school district. >> my understanding from the school district is that their perspective is that the size of the school does matter. but i assume that they'll be coming up to present as well, so, i'll wait to ask. >> great. okay. so, next i'd like to call up
regina [speaker not understood] from the small business commission. >> good afternoon, chair wiener. i want to thank supervisor wiener and his staff, an dress powers for the years, the couple of years that his staff has diligently worked on this and being very measured and thoughtful in working with the stakeholders to come up with, like you said, ~ a solution that not everybody is happy with, but that we all have come to an agreement with and really want to extend my appreciation and the hard work that has been put into this. so, the small business commission did hear the legislation about the extending into the rh districts with the planning commission and did vote to support that and recommends that you support that. the commission has not yet -- the commission initially heard the first draft of the
modifications in april. but since there has been since the changes that supervisor wiener outlined today, and they haven't heard it, but knowing that our office has been involved and that the key stakeholders have been consulted and worked with to finding a really good solution, i just want to know that our office does extend the support for this legislation. ~ note a couple of things in terms of the school district if you do decide to have some discussion about the footage. i think from our perspective, we would go more towards leaning more towards the 750 foot as opposed to a thousand foot. with the understanding that there is other types of restaurants, there are corner stores that are within distance that sell some of the -- that sell the foods that are the concerns that i think have been expressed.
and don't necessarily see that from our perspective, that the mobile foods would impede upon some of the goals that the school district has, but that is our perspective. so, i'm just here to make sure that -- encourage you to support the great work that supervisor wiener has done with this. it hasn't been easy. it's been very challenging, but i think that we can -- they're great solutions and clean up that we've long been waiting for in accomplishing. >> thank you, ms. [speaker not understood]. and i want to echo -- thank my aide, andres power and julian gillette who was in my office. that's how long it's been going. next i want to ask chris armentraut from the san francisco unified school district to come up and say a few words.
>> thank you, chairman wiener and supervisor kim, president chiu. my name is chris arm entrout. i am director for the san francisco unified he school district. i do want to emphasize and acknowledge, credit to supervisor wiener ~ and for i think your staff and you have been exemplary in terms of trying to work with us, coming at us in good faith and very clear about what your needs are. and i do appreciate -- even though we weren't able to reach a very clear compromise, i do appreciate all the efforts and work that you did to do that in good faith. so, we are -- right now the board of education and superintendent has not taken a neutral position. we did consider this over the two years and we did formally consider this in february of this year. and we're actually quite close.
if we look at this and break it down, we're pretty much in agreement of well more than 90% of what supervisor wiener has proposed. so, in term of the -- what the current law was, beginning with middle schools, currently 1500 feet around each middle school, that's been proposed to be reduced to 500 and our board has agreed with that, mostly because the middle schools are going to be closed campus and are going to remain that way for any foreseeable future. so, that's about half of our secondary schools that are affected. the next list on here would be about half of our high schools, roughly half of our high
schools that are listed there. the proposal is to reduce those to 1,000 feet and our board has also agreed in terms of that. the biggest difference is in terms of those schools that would be reduced to 750. and, so, for the seven of those in supervisor wiener's legislation -- ordinance, excuse me, hilltop, international state academy, the principal center, civic center, john o'connell, mission high school, and gallileo, those are the seven in question. for those seven, the first four we are fine with 750 feet. we were agreed with those. it's for the last three, john o'connell, mission high school and gallileo, this is primarily because those schools have a large population, large relative to the other schools listed up there, and they've also had a history of challenges with participation in their lunch program, with students leaving for off
campus. so, our board took the position that they wanted to not reduce that to 750, but allow a reduction to 1500 to 1,000. so, from looking up there in the aggregate, all the schools, all the high schools, and the section of one of the high schools there, that's about 92%, it's 35 out of 38 that we're okay with. it's just these last three on which we're split. and, so, right now our board does not support this legislation and has not taken a neutral. we currently oppose it. and that was the formal action taken. i did want to add a note, supervisor wiener, we've had discussionses with you and your staff as well. our board did put requests that there be a clear map because there have been questions in the past about how these were drawn and whether you're drawing a square boundary around the schools or whether you had a circular from the very center. we reached some clarity with your office on that. we're clear it's the boundary from the school, but there is still the restriction -- there
still is the request in order to be neutral to see a map. and, supervisor wiener, i know that we discussed about this and there's logistical problems with creating that, but that is still our board's position, i need to represent that. >> thank you. supervisor kim, just to clarify a few things, it's three schools where the district is in disagreement. >> that's correct. >> okay. and the district had raised i think a question about whether the number of feet was measured from the entrance to the school or from the outer boundaries. and we clarified and it's in the legislation, it's measured from the external boundaries. >> yes. >> so, as far out as you can get and and not from the front entrance. and in terms of the map ~ i know the district had requested that there be a map created as an appendix to the legislation. i think we just felt that that was not something that we would typically do in our code.
dpw felt it's measurements. i understand its desire for a map. anyone can create a map if you have the right geo coding. and, so, i think that's certainly helpful, but i just don't think that that's the legislation is the appropriate place to do that. but, supervisor kim? >> actually, you can -- >> president chiu. >> i just wonder if you could hear from the chair a little bit of back and forth on your perspective about these three particular schools. i understand that, and i first of all want to thank all the stakeholders who have been engaged in this tier conversation. i appreciate the give and take of all sides. i certainly appreciate our chairman's work and his staff's work. it seems like we're really close, but particularly one of these high schools is right down the corner in my district and i just want to understand why you would want to keep the 750 and try to understand that from the perspective of the school district. >> sure.
and like the other aspects of this legislation, what's before you today is definitely is a -- very much a middle ground, all sort of balanced on the head of the proverbial pin. when we initially proposed the 500 number of feet, typically 500 feet is one block. [speaker not understood]. the 500 feet, the school district after some discussion indicated they were fine with that for middle schools, but preferred a larger distance for high schools, and that they preferred -- they wanted a thousand feet. and my response was that we're okay with that, except that there are a handful of schools where it does have a pretty significant impact. so, for example, if we applied a thousand feet for mission high school, it would -- everyone knows where mission high school is -- it goes
basically almost all the way to valencia street along 18th street which is a pretty thriving commercial corridor. it goes west almost to noe street, and basically into the heart of the castro. so, it's a pretty significant impact. keeping in mind that there is a food truck, i believe seven days a week, in dolores park basically less than 500 feet from mission high school. for o'connell, has a pretty significant impact. a thousand feet would include some significant swaths of bryant street, of south van ness, and gallileo a thousand feet would stretch onto franklin and lombard and hyde, i think also parts of van ness, chestnut and polk street. so, we tried to be very discerning in terms of which high schools we thought a thousand went a little bit too
far. you can see from that list, the bulk of the high schools it's a thousand feet. and for a number of the high schools the district did not object to the 750 feet. i completely understand the desire, but i think on balance this is still a block and a half in every -- in every direction. so, that was the thing. i would also note, i forgot to mention before, in my discussions with the food and fitness council in particular, one of the issues that they raised is that in some schools, the school that you don't have enough capacity to serve enough school lunches given the size of the student body, and that they -- there was a desire to have school lunch vending machines that sell the identical lunches, but that increase capacity. and, so, that is part of the budget last year. i was able to obtain an allotment from the city to allow the district to