Stockton’s first food truck park say they are forced to close

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The first Stockton food truck park is getting ready to close for good. The park’s owners said the city has put so much pressure on them, they feel there’s no choice.”We all worked very hard on this,” owner Kenny Foster said.Stocklandia was a first in the city. It was located in the parking lot of an old car dealership on West Lane that was converted into a safe haven for food trucks.”We got a great response from the community,” Foster added. “Everybody loved it.”The food truck park opened in October 2019. On any given day, Stocklandia would have anywhere from five to eight different types of trucks, Foster said.”It’s hard out here on the streets,” said Sam Sao, owner of RiceDreams. “You’re always fighting for a spot. You have to move every three to four hours.”For a little while, things were going really well.”It was incredible,” Foster said. “It kind of blew our minds from day one. We were doing incredible business.”That was until about March, when Foster said the negative feedback from the city was just “nonstop.”The issue has been inside the walls of the city hall for months. Staff said for starters, there’s not an ordinance on the books for food truck parks. They told KCRA 3 they also received several complaints about traffic, noise and parking.”The concerns that have been expressed are issues that have been created as a result of the particular activities that were occurring,” said Stockton’s community relations officer Connie Cochran.Foster said the city’s code enforcement harassed food trucks showing up several days in a row, and that he felt that his business was being targeted. Soon after, all those trucks were scared off.”Having the inspectors come and inspect you every day, the food trucks don’t like that, so with that happening, they don’t want to be here,” Sao said.Stocklandia opened on a six-month temporary permit, but when that was up for renewal, it was denied by city staff. The city wanted to add more conditions to the permit and Stocklandia’s owners didn’t agree with everything that was in those new conditions. The owners appealed the staff’s decision and have been operating on the original temporary permit since July. They will have their appeal heard before the city council in January.”A city like Stockton needs to support small businesses, you know,” Foster said.The city is now working on drafting an ordinance for food truck parks.”What we are trying to do is make sure the land use is compatible with the area,” Cochran added.Foster said the damage has been done. The money to continue to pay rent has run dry and the business is being forced to close.”They need to be more supportive and work with small businesses, and especially small businesses made up of people from this community,” Foster said.

The first Stockton food truck park is getting ready to close for good. The park’s owners said the city has put so much pressure on them, they feel there’s no choice.

“We all worked very hard on this,” owner Kenny Foster said.

Stocklandia was a first in the city. It was located in the parking lot of an old car dealership on West Lane that was converted into a safe haven for food trucks.

“We got a great response from the community,” Foster added. “Everybody loved it.”

The food truck park opened in October 2019. On any given day, Stocklandia would have anywhere from five to eight different types of trucks, Foster said.

“It’s hard out here on the streets,” said Sam Sao, owner of RiceDreams. “You’re always fighting for a spot. You have to move every three to four hours.”

For a little while, things were going really well.

“It was incredible,” Foster said. “It kind of blew our minds from day one. We were doing incredible business.”

That was until about March, when Foster said the negative feedback from the city was just “nonstop.”

The issue has been inside the walls of the city hall for months. Staff said for starters, there’s not an ordinance on the books for food truck parks. They told KCRA 3 they also received several complaints about traffic, noise and parking.

“The concerns that have been expressed are issues that have been created as a result of the particular activities that were occurring,” said Stockton’s community relations officer Connie Cochran.

Foster said the city’s code enforcement harassed food trucks showing up several days in a row, and that he felt that his business was being targeted. Soon after, all those trucks were scared off.

“Having the inspectors come and inspect you every day, the food trucks don’t like that, so with that happening, they don’t want to be here,” Sao said.

Stocklandia opened on a six-month temporary permit, but when that was up for renewal, it was denied by city staff. The city wanted to add more conditions to the permit and Stocklandia’s owners didn’t agree with everything that was in those new conditions.

The owners appealed the staff’s decision and have been operating on the original temporary permit since July. They will have their appeal heard before the city council in January.

“A city like Stockton needs to support small businesses, you know,” Foster said.

The city is now working on drafting an ordinance for food truck parks.

“What we are trying to do is make sure the land use is compatible with the area,” Cochran added.

Foster said the damage has been done. The money to continue to pay rent has run dry and the business is being forced to close.

“They need to be more supportive and work with small businesses, and especially small businesses made up of people from this community,” Foster said.



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