Santa Barbara- S County

Food truck businesses fight against new zoning ordinance

Owner: "They already made their decision."

Food truck businesses fight against...

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - There are only a handful of food truck businesses left in Santa Barbara and they could soon be a thing of the past if a new zoning ordinance is passed. 

"It doesn't matter what we say. they already made their decision and now they're just going through the motions," says Michael Gardner, owner and operator of the Burger Bus. 

Gardner has been serving burgers to the Santa Barbara, Goleta and Ventura communities for more than 8 years. However, he's selling the bus and business. The current ordinance and eventually a newer ordinance are just two of the reasons why he's moving out of the state. 

"We never really have parked on city streets, but now they don’t want us parking in parking lots. They don’t want us parking where somebody said we don’t want them, but the local folks do want us," said Gardner. 

He tells NewsChannel 3 that the city won't allow him to park his bus on private lots even if there's a prior agreement. Gardner often partners up with small businesses like Pure Order Brewing Company in Santa Barbara where they allow him to park his bus on their property. 

"Having food will help people stay a little longer and enjoy our outdoor atmosphere and have a burger and beer. What's better than a burger and a beer?" said James Burge, the owner of Pure Order Brewing Company. 

A formal outline of a new ordinance to replace the current one hasn't been created. The Santa Barbara City Planning Commission met Thursday to talk about the topic that began two years ago. City council members will have the final say, but food truck vendors like Gardner believes that could be a problem.

Gardner and other food truck vendors did not attend Thursday's planning commission meeting. They believe their voices have not been heard in the past and it's not worth it for them to attend future meetings.

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