Food trucks are theoretically regulated, but compliance is complicated, expensive, and most violations go unenforced. In 2012 the regulations were relaxed substantially but outside of East Oakland food pods of 3 or more trucks are allowed with hefty per-event permitting fees. Few trucks/pods have taken advantage of the new regulations, and usually only for events with lots of people like Art Murmur or Off the Grid.
Vehicular food vending shall be permitted on private property located on Fruitvale Avenue and High Street between Interstate 880 to the west and Foothill Boulevard to the east, Foothill Boulevard between 19th Avenue to the north and MacArthur Boulevard to the south, International Boulevard between First Avenue to the north and 105th Avenue to the south, and San Leandro Street between Fruitvale Avenue to the north and 98th Avenue to the south. East 12th Street between 4th Avenue to the west and 23rd Avenue to the east, 14th Avenue between East 11th Street in the south and East 19th Street in the north. Within the program permitted area, vehicular food vendors shall be required to locate on private property with an address on and visible from the above-listed public streets.
January 2016 Draft Regulations
The city of Oakland planning department has released a mobile food vending proposal that would expand the areas where food trucks and pushcarts can operate and remove the requirement for a conditional use permit for trucks operating on private property.
Under the new proposed rules, trucks cannot operate 100 feet from:
- another food truck (or on the same lot)
- a restaurant without approval from all applicable restaurant owners (trucks on private property and "fast food" appear to be exempt?)
- a permitted food pod
- a farmers market without approval from the farmers market organizer
- a permitted special event without approval from the event organizer
Trucks cannot locate 500 feet from a school without the approval of the school's principal.