New Restrictions Handed Down on Mobile Food Vendors

After working with school district, Novato City Council unanimously approves new 1,500-foot buffer zone on food truck proximity to school campuses.

Many officials at and the were frustrated seven months ago when the Novato City Council did not approve new restrictions on mobile food vendors who tend to park near schools and sell their junk food to kids.

What the council was essentially, "Let's get the major players together and come to a consensus first, then we'll talk about crafting a new ordinance."

The teamwork worked. On Tuesday, the Novato City Council unanimously approved new 1,500-foot buffer zone on food truck proximity to school campuses. The vendors who tend to park their trucks close to the high schools during lunch hours and after school now have to park more than a quarter-mile away.

See the attached videos to gauge the reaction of Novato High Principal Rey Mayoral, who was a staunch supporter of clamp-down restrictions on the vendors, and Miguel Villareal, the nutrition guru of the Novato Unified School District.

For a complete story on the council's action, check out this story from the .

Craig Knowlton December 14, 2011 at 06:41 PM
So someone can sell alcohol, drugs (marijuana dispensary) and other items just 1000 feet away from any school, yet the evil food vendors must park 1500 feet away? Only 500 feet more and the food vendors would be equivalent to registered sex offenders! Talk about priorities! If NUSD provided adequate facilities for lunches to ALL schools, this would not be a problem. As it is now, San Marin HS and San Ramon Elementary have no cafeterias, Novato HS has an undersized cafeteria and Lu Sutton kids are forced to eat with their food on their laps while sitting on outside benches! http://www.marinij.com/marinnews/ci_19150466 The food offered at the schools is unpalatable and the menus are misleading. Just try getting the "green salad" offered at the elementary schools. Your child will quickly find out there are only 4 or 5 available for a school of 450+ children, and unless you are a registered vegetarian or have other dietary restrictions, your chances of scoring a salad for lunch drop to nearly zero. When we actually have adequate healthy choices, then looking into this matter will make more sense.
Michael Christian December 14, 2011 at 06:42 PM
That is a pretty ironic comment, coming from someone who won't post their own name and be held publicly accountable for criticism.
marie Borders December 15, 2011 at 06:33 PM
Hmmmm...here's something novel: how about packing a lunch?!?
A Novato Parent December 21, 2011 at 01:04 AM
If Novato High had enough of its lunches it be different but they do not. I know my son would be just fine with a fruit stand so long as it was stocked! So the kids go get junk at the vendors. Is the object here to make them burn a few calories in their quest for food? Otherwise a 4 min walk isn't going to dissuade any kid and now gives them even more reason to be off campus in the neighborhood.
Bob Laru December 22, 2011 at 08:02 AM
Novato already has a parking code that prohibits food trucks from parking in one spot more than ten minutes. Enforce the laws we already have on the books.


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