The city of Tucson is considering new rules for some food truck owners

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGON) – For Gabriella Delgadillo, cooking isn’t just her livelihood, it’s her passion, which is why when she made sweet potato rolls, she was excited at the prospect of connecting with new customers.

“I like to make people feel good because I feel like when you eat good food, you bring people together,” Delgadillo said.

She’s had the same sense of excitement since she opened Samurai Sombrero Sushi in The Pit at 22nd Street and Pantano Road about nine months ago.

However, the city of Tucson is now considering new regulations regarding food trucks in permanent, collectively owned venues such as the Pit.

They are considering not allowing food trucks to have external internal combustion generators.

“If something happens here and we can’t use electricity, we can use our generator as a backup, so I feel like that’s a big concern,” Delgadillo said.

The new rules will not apply to food trucks at temporary venues such as outdoor events or fairs.

The city of Tucson’s Planning Commission said it held two virtual public comment meetings with 65 people in attendance and some people were concerned about the noise from the generators, which is why they’re considering only allowing food trucks to use inverters, which are quieter.

They also want to make sure dining halls like the Pit have enough electricity, parking and restrooms.

The city of Tucson said it is considering allowing food trucks only one parking space per truck.

However, Delgadillo said they should consider allowing food halls to have more food trucks.

“The more trucks we have here, the more variety there is, the more customers that want to come and that’s what we want. We want customers and families to come and that helps everyone,” she said.

The city is also considering allowing commercial kitchens for vendors.

While Joel Quijada, who owns Sweet Rolls and More, was slicing bananas and fresh strawberries to make rolled ice cream, he thought about how it could help him.

“Instead of traveling to other places, we can prepare our food here, like prep and all that stuff,” he said.

However, he said he would not support the city requiring food trucks to use kitchens instead of those in their trucks, which was mentioned as a consideration at Wednesday’s study session.

As for other vendors, the city said they are only hoping to get more than fifty percent of the food hall used by businesses that make the food.

Quijada agrees that the food hall should focus more on food, while allowing other vendors to allow them to do so.

“Allowing other vendors in here, they’re not like food, can help bring in more traffic,” he said.

The city on Wednesday approved a public comment meeting scheduled for Oct. 18. These new rules remain just suggestions for now and will be considered by the mayor and city council at the end of the year.

For now, Quijada is happy that the city is allowing food trucks to remain in the pit and continue outreach to the community.

“It would be great to bring the community together and then the city can accommodate us all,” he said.

(Tags to translate)dining

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