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Food Truck Vendors Suing Monrovia Due Back in Court

A status conference is scheduled in a lawsuit alleging that the city is discriminating against food truck vendors by keeping them out of Old Town.

Attorneys for the city of Monrovia and the Socal Mobile Food Vendors Association (SoCalMFVA) are due back in court in Los Angeles Wednesday for a status conference for a .

The SoCalMFVA filed suit against Monrovia after the City Council barred them from operating in Old Town in 2010. The group at the expense of mobile vendors.

SoCalMFVA is a nonprofit organization representing about 130 mobile vending companies. The organization called the city's ban on food trucks "a naked restraint of trade created solely to protect [Monrovia's] favored interests--certain fixed-location restaurants-- ... at the expense of association members who would otherwise seek to serve Monrovia consumers with a better product at a better price," according to the civil complaint signed by SoCalMFVA attorney Jeffrey Dermer.

After the ordinance passed in December of 2010, Councilman Tom Adams that it would be unfair to allow food trucks to operate in Old Town because they wouldn't have to pay taxes and fees to the Old Town Advisory Board merchants association.

"This is just trying to keep a certain ambiance in downtown and also recognize the contribution that brick and mortar businesses make that mobile food vendors don't make," Adams said of the ordinance. "To have someone say that they want to come and take advantage of that without contributing to it just doesn't pass the simple test of fairness," he said.

Herbert Edgard Alamo August 15, 2012 at 05:38 PM
The food truck vendors should have a designated location to conduct business on a temporary basis. Myrtle street is not the best place for them.
Citzen August 15, 2012 at 06:47 PM
I don't understand why they are saying it's an issue to protect the businesses as if its a bad thing to do. However that being said It's 2012! They aren't roach coaches anymore. Chefs have gone mobile. It's become an event people attend. People go to great lengths to find these trucks & drive to them. It would be nice to have a local night. I think a compromise can be made. I think we could have a night around the park. Like a Wednesday between 7-10. The trucks pay to vend. Maybe some outdoor movies at the park and we have a nice summer event.
J. Knight August 16, 2012 at 12:24 AM
I agree. It could be beneficial to have the mobile restaurants just not on Myrtle. Designate location and times that makes sense and that would not be in direct competition with the local merchants. Consider this, if Lisa S is willing to drive to Arcadia and Pasadena for food trucks perhaps there will be those outside of Monrovia willing to drive here as well. And when they are done eating maybe they will stay to have drinks or deserts in Monrovia or perhaps do some shopping. We want to protect our local merchants but at the same time not turn away other businesses who could bring patrons to the city.
Danielle August 16, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Greed & selfishness is not a good look for the merchants of downtown Monrovia. What is really going on here? Is everyone threatened by the food trucks? Just think of the extra added revenue they could bring to town if we were to have a Food Truck event. People from all over would come to our charming city & that alone would be a great investment. I vote for Food Trucks. Don't be so greedy & selfish! I'm ashamed of you all.
Gayle M. Montgomery August 17, 2012 at 05:42 AM
I work in Downtown, and there are trucks galore. Some trucks actually tweet where their next location is, and people flock from all over; they sell out in no time. I don't use the trucks. It's a personal choice for me. But I cannot see why we would stop them from coming for those who would. There are vacancies in town, and goodness knows we haven't been able to fill all the brick and mortars. I guess I'm confused as to why we don't really want them here. If people don't want the food, they won't shop there, and the trucks will go away. That they're able to be sustained elsewhere says there is a niche. Maybe they pay a hefty licensing fee that also includes some methodology for refuse disposal in the proximity. There are brick and mortars that have restrooms I won't use (like why does the Carl's Jr on Huntington always smell, and the old Marie Callendar's on Foothill was the same way). So I don't think having a can available is a mandate. Add this to the smoke shop we ran out of dodge, and it just seems a little monopolistic, like somebody got a chance on Myrtle and tough luck to everybody else. I know some merchants whose owners basically ran them out of brick and mortar with rental increases. What then?

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