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Should Dumpling Station be Allowed at Garfield Park?

The well-known South Pas food truck may frequent the area less due to violation of city ordinance.

Owners of the Dumpling Station food truck, commonly seen at , are looking to continue parking in South Pas—without being fined—after police served them with a City ordinance violation last month. 

"This ordinance is not specific to food vendors and applies to anyone selling anything from a parked vehicle for that purpose," said Police Chief Joe Payne. 

The Dumpling Station has been frequenting Garfield Park for six months. While Payne said the police department has received multiple complaints regarding the truck being parked near Garfield Park, owner Julie Chung claims one resident in particular was unhappy with the truck. 

"It's a big hit [in South Pasadena]. We love the community. Everyone is so nice (except for one person)," Chung told Patch via e-mail in June. "It's nice seeing parents with their adorable kids. ... It's unfortunate that it has come down to this."

South Pas isn't the only community dealing with food truck controversy. Over at Eagle Rock Patch, an opinion piece entitled Food Trucks, Pot Shops Hurt Eagle Rock evoked over 120 comments. 

"Many municipalities are struggling with the proliferation of food vending trucks and the complaints received," explained Payne. "Our intent is to enforce existing ordinances applicable to the situation rather than enact an ordinance designed to target food vendors."

In this case, it was City ordinance 19.49 that states "no person shall park a vehicle upon any roadway for the principal purpose of selling therefrom or therein any article, service or thing." 

Yet regardless of the ordinance, Chung said Dumpling Station is not gone for good. "We won't be entirely gone. We won't be there as frequent, because we will be fined," she told Patch June 9.

Dumpling Station has come to the park three times since Patch initially spoke to Chung in June, according to its Twitter feed. And from here on out, residents can expect the truck Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. at Garfield Park, Chung said Tuesday.

"I am trying to find an alternative—just because we're getting ticketed each time. I've spoken with a few other trucks, and we want to appeal the tickets. The city issued us a permit that we've paid for, and now we are being fined," Chung explained, also mentioning the truck by law can't park anywhere in South Pas unless it's a private lot. 

What do you think? Should Dumping Station be allowed to frequent Garfield Park? If so, any suggestions on where it could park? Weigh in below. Patch will continue to follow and report on the story. 

Just My Opinion July 06, 2011 at 06:10 PM
Why not allow this truck to park on Thursday nights by Farmer's Market? It just might draw more people to Farmer's Market and a good time will be had by all. And in this hot, muggy weather, Mom doesn't have to cook and everyone can enjoy Farmer's Market, and everyone makes some money. Sounds like a win-win to me.
Pauline Han July 06, 2011 at 06:37 PM
I guess I must be one of those elitist residents in the Marengo neighborhood because I do not like the food trucks and commend the police for enforcing regulations. Now I enjoy the food trucks at work, but they park in COMMERCIAL areas. My complaint is that this is a RESIDENTIAL area. I overpaid for my house to get this South Pasadena zip code and I do not appreciate seeing the trucks parked in front of my window, blocking my view of beautiful Garfield Park. I think many people like them because they get their food and walk away. But for those homeowners and residents living near the trucks, we see up to 3 at a time. Imagine seeing a big green, red or blue box parked in front of your HOME for several hours at a time (6 hours is not unusual for these trucks), with a continual flow of people traffic - several not local. I support having these trucks in South Pasadena but they need to be in commercial, not residential, areas. Downtown is a great location. Be by the train or the Farmers Market. But not in front of someone's HOME several days a week. I couldn't set up a business in front of someone's house. Why should they be allowed? Especially since it wasn't that way when we bought the house. At least we knew about the concerts and parade. We enjoy having these regular, but infrequent community events. Not something that attracts customers from outside areas who leave trash on your lawn and sit on your neighbor's wall. Want that at your home?
Pauline Han July 06, 2011 at 06:37 PM
I guess I must be one of those elitist residents in the Marengo neighborhood because I do not like the food trucks and commend the police for enforcing regulations. Now I enjoy the food trucks at work, but they park in COMMERCIAL areas. My complaint is that this is a RESIDENTIAL area. I overpaid for my house to get this South Pasadena zip code and I do not appreciate seeing the trucks parked in front of my window, blocking my view of beautiful Garfield Park. I think many people like them because they get their food and walk away. But for those homeowners and residents living near the trucks, we see up to 3 at a time. Imagine seeing a big green, red or blue box parked in front of your HOME for several hours at a time (6 hours is not unusual for these trucks), with a continual flow of people traffic - several not local. I support having these trucks in South Pasadena but they need to be in commercial, not residential, areas. Downtown is a great location. Be by the train or the Farmers Market. But not in front of someone's HOME several days a week. I couldn't set up a business in front of someone's house. Why should they be allowed? Especially since it wasn't that way when we bought the house. At least we knew about the concerts and parade. We enjoy having these regular, but infrequent community events. Not something that attracts customers from outside areas who leave trash on your lawn and sit on your neighbor's wall. Want that at your home?
Francis Lai July 06, 2011 at 06:57 PM
i don't particularly like the dumpling truck since i can make better ones. but i don't see why if the city issued them a permit (and the owner didn't say what kinda permit so i'll assume it's a permit to let them sell food) then why are they getting fined? jack you and your love for truck food. :)
Francis Lai July 06, 2011 at 07:03 PM
i say have food trucks park on the west side of garfield park (across from the brown condos). sure, they will take up parking spaces but at least the trucks and/or their patrons won't be blocking anyone. another place i would imagine to have mutli-truck would be in the southwest corner of fremont and mission. it's an empty lot for most of the year except for halloween and xmas. granted parking would be a pain.
Francis Lai July 06, 2011 at 07:08 PM
hahaha, i was gonna suggest them park in front of my place on pasadena ave and el centro (by arroyo vista). i certainly wouldn't mind.
Chris Colburn July 06, 2011 at 07:13 PM
Sure! Bring on the food trucks. I already have to clean up after all of the alcoholics that attend meetings at St. James church and pitch their beer cans/bottles, cigarette butts and drug bindles in our yards. What's a little mess after a food truck? We also have to put up with them blocking our driveways, having loud conversations after 9PM and being a general nuisance, but we cope. If the truck isn't parked at the curb directly in front of your house, but across the street facing Garfield Park, what's the harm? I love having the trucks park on "this side of the tracks", it means time to meet my neighbors and engage in the age-old and lost art of conversation and fellowship with those in your neighborhood. You know, what South Pasadena used to be like when I was growing up here.
Mindy B July 06, 2011 at 07:56 PM
wow. looks like we know who called and complained. so let me get this right, you over paid for your home and now the city should protect your view of the park? how often do they block your view and for how long? has the neighbor whose retaining wall is being used as a seat personally complained? have you asked the truck if they would mind not blocking your view? have you complained about the supposed trash on your lawn (I've never seen any trash left by these folks)? have you been a good neighbor? I like the community feel these trucks bring with them. but thats the perspective of someone enjoying the park, not someone who's looking at from their living room window.
Nathan Schauer July 06, 2011 at 09:27 PM
I need a truck of food right now. The only regulation on the food trucks should be a fee to So Pasadena. A food truck is using public services and notably the public park which we all pay for. If they aren't paying a fee for using that spot, they need to. Tax the dumplings! This will drive them out and they will park on my street.
philip han July 06, 2011 at 10:01 PM
Great idea Francis! I have seen the Teryaki truck on the westside of the park, but then it moved to the south when a space was available. My assumption is that Mission provides greater visibility. But parking on the westside makes the partons walk a bit shorter, instead of all the way to the south of the park. The corner lot idea is also interesting, because I saw a group of food trucks creating a 'lunch spot' in the Little Tokyo / Arts District, with tables, and seating, lights etc...
Chris Colburn July 06, 2011 at 10:17 PM
They have paid the fee of a business license, just like every brick and mortar business in town has. Now they're being harrased under a draconian old city ordinance that's just as dumb as it is contradictory. They paid the license fee for the truck, leave them alone.
jacksprat July 06, 2011 at 11:18 PM
I do have a love of food trucks. I say replace some of the vendors at the Farmer's market with these trucks and I guarantee I'll be there every Thursday. Btw, Francis makes the best dumplings I've ever tasted
B Ish July 07, 2011 at 01:07 AM
Does this mean the ice cream truck can't sell ice cream at the high school?
Paula July 07, 2011 at 03:08 AM
It is always some sour person that ruins fun for everyone else! The food truck is great and fun for families to get some decent food for the kids while at the park!
Pauline Han July 07, 2011 at 05:16 AM
No, actually I've never complained to the city. What I meant by my earlier comment is that the $/sf in our great city of South Pas is much higher than several parts of LA county (and I bet that goes for rent too). I just think these trucks take away more than they add. I do enjoy the park, and not just from the window. But because I live nearby, I don't need to be at the park for 6 hours but I've seen the trucks here for 6 hours+. Some have offered good suggestions so I think there's something that can work for all.
Ron Rosen July 07, 2011 at 05:45 AM
I guess not if the police are enforcing the law!
Ron Rosen July 07, 2011 at 05:46 AM
Are you saying they want to turn Garfield Park into a Dumping Station? That's what the headline looked like to me all day.
Andrew Weisz July 07, 2011 at 09:06 AM
Wow, I did not realize we had such major problems here. I need to consider moving into L.A. where not only is the $/sq. ft. less AND they don't have such traumatic issues.
mickee collins July 07, 2011 at 03:27 PM
Allowing vendors to sell from street trucks undermines our commercial real estate values. If you put in the effort to build a long term business in town working through the permit process, providing parking, paying taxes etc. you are at a huge disadvantage to someone who rolls into town and sets up shop anywhere their truck can find a parking space. There are plenty of vacancies in town that a good operator could secure.
Sheepdog July 07, 2011 at 04:05 PM
Really? It undermines commercial real estate value? Last time I checked, we retained real estate value despite the economy. We always have been at a premium for real estate here that is well above the average of other cities in the area. These trucks have a business license for every city they operate in that requires one and have to pay the taxes they collect on hot prepared food. Plus, they're paying the unfair fine from the 'taxation by citation' that this city engages in to generate revenue. You can't issue someone a business license and then cite them for operating said business, that's bulls**t! So find another argument. It sounds more like you're against a little competitive business. If you put out a good product at a fair price, you don't have to worry about a little competition.
Sweets Truck July 07, 2011 at 07:57 PM
Dumpling Station is a fun truck and there seems to be debates on a few local "patch" websites about food trucks ... There seems to be a lot of people with the idea that we do not pay our fair share of rent, taxes, business licenses, etc. and it's simply not true. In fact, since we operate in different cities are often licensed in multiple cities, counties and health departments ...
Sweets Truck July 07, 2011 at 08:05 PM
We are going to disagree w/ you on this. Just ask the commercial property owners/ tenants that ASK us to their locations to bring foot traffic and people to their events and storefronts. Our truck alone has more than 11k people just on twitter and 5k that like us and follow us on facebook, this is not to brag but savvy business owners see this as an opportunity! One shining example is our event in Pasadena at Jones Coffee Roasters, Wheel Food Wednesday where we invite 5 trucks, have local artists show their work, invite local bands to play and offer a space for the community to come together. This event, and others like them encourage people off their couch to enjoy a community event! It also drives business to our host, and introduces new people to their business.
Mindy B July 07, 2011 at 08:09 PM
I think the food trucks are probably bringing more business to South Pas then they hurt it. I have friends with kids who've been coming from Pasadena to Garfield Park cause they know they can get some food and some fun in at the same time. I bet they even stop at our market, drugstore, or Radioshack from time to time too.
Francis Lai July 07, 2011 at 08:59 PM
if anything, the city needs to put in a new sign for garfield park. that rickety sign doesn't do the park any justice. at least give it a new coat of paint or something.
Kristen Lepore (Editor) July 07, 2011 at 10:17 PM
Great discussion everyone. There's definitely a mix of views amongst community members here. Patch plans to write a follow-up story soon.
Lisa Z July 08, 2011 at 03:37 AM
not to beat a dead dumpling...but my husband told me that he saw the Dumpling Truck get a ticket today. He asked the officer why and was told "we don't allow food trucks in this town". huh? really? come on... I think many people have expressed some good ideas on how we can reasonable welcome food trucks at Garfield park with some limits...sounds like the South Pas PD and the City Council need to get the memo. (again, really? isnt there some real crime in the city the police need to be focusing on, not the dumplings..)
Kristen Lepore (Editor) August 03, 2011 at 08:33 PM
Check out our follow-up story here: http://patch.com/A-kHDH
Ron Rosen August 05, 2011 at 01:07 PM
You don't want the food trucks, but the comments here suggest that not all your neighbors agree with you.
Mike Ten August 05, 2011 at 04:34 PM
Ron That's a neat way to refer back to a previous discussion...Hmmmm...
linda krausen November 01, 2011 at 09:27 PM
Ho to support local South Pasadena services and businesses, and please the truckees, too. No to food trucks- on a regular basis- unsightly litter producers with people trampling the grass and throwing foodstuffs in the flower beds. But yes to incorporating them in some way beneficial to South Pas and the people who do like them. Think about every 3 months we can have an outdoor Celebrate South Pasadena fair on Mission in the evening- block off traffic, have local, as in local, musicians and artists, have dancing, poetry slam for the kids. Have the trucks pay to be here, use it as a fund raiser for city services, and promotion of our town.

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