Faced with a lawsuit from a group representing a fleet of food trucks, El Segundo city leaders this week will consider repealing part of a local law that limits how long the vendors can idle on public streets.

At its Tuesday meeting, the City Council is expected to vote on an urgency ordinance that would do away with the town's current 10-minute parking restriction on the trucks that are so commonly seen across greater Los Angeles.

City Attorney Mark Hensley has proposed that staff members return to the council in three to six months with new food truck regulations.

The current rule - which dates to 1967 and also covers vending from wagons and push carts - has been challenged by the SoCal Mobile Food Vendors Association, which argues the 10-minute limit on food trucks essentially amounts to an unlawful ban.

The group represents dozens of trucks that announce where they'll be parked during the day via Twitter, sending followers out in search of grilled cheese sandwiches, pork belly rolls, short rib tacos and more.

In a suit filed Aug. 29 in Los Angeles Superior Court, the group alleges El Segundo's time limit on selling goods from parked vehicles conflicts with state law, and questions the likelihood that a truck operator could logistically do business within 10 minutes.

The group asked the court to invalidate that part of the city's Municipal Code, and grant a preliminary injunction prohibiting the town to enforce it.


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In a report prepared for Tuesday's meeting, Hensley writes that "by adopting this urgency ordinance, the lawsuit against the city would become moot, and the city could instead focus its resources on studying the issue, identifying public safety impacts ... and creating a new set of regulations to more appropriately govern the modern food truck business."

It would require a four-fifths council vote to repeal the section pertaining only to food trucks, Hensley said. The ordinance would go into effect immediately.

A "yes" vote from the council would be a significant step, said Kevin Behrendt, the group's attorney.

"Our hope would be that if this urgency ordinance passes, (both sides) would come to a resolution within not much time," he said.

The ordinance came to the association's attention after a food truck operator was cited while parked near the downtown farmers market.

Hensley said such citations are extremely rare, as El Segundo doesn't see many food trucks serving customers along public streets. Nonetheless, he favors reviewing and updating the ordinance.

"We don't want to spend the city's resources on legal fees," he said Friday.

kristin.agostoni@dailybreeze.com

Follow Kristin Agostoni on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kagostoni

Want to go?

What: The El Segundo City Council will consider rescinding a 10-minute limit for idling food trucks

Where: 350 Main St., El Segundo

When: Meets starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday

Information: www.elsegundo.org