LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The Los Angeles City Council has amended a municipal ordinance to crack down on food truck operators who regularly park illegally in residential areas and “eat” the cost of the parking ticket as part their overhead.

Food trucks are allowed to park in residential neighborhoods for up to 30 minutes, but city law only allows one ticket to be issued per day for a violation.

The amended ordinance — which only applies to food trucks and requires Mayor Eric Garcetti’s signature to become law — would create escalated penalties for each 30-minute increment during a parking violation in a residential area. The amendment was approved with a 14-0 vote.

“The current ordinance is as a single ticket, and folks sort of incorporate it as a cost of doing business,” Councilmember Mike Bonin said.

“This adds a tiered fine structure so that if you don’t move after getting a ticket after 30 minutes, you can get a second and then you can get a third.”

Matt Geller, CEO of the Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association, said his organization still objects to the amendment and plans to file a lawsuit challenging it. He said he has been raising concerns with the city and Bonin’s office for months but has been largely ignored.

“They just didn’t care about anything regarding input,” Geller told City News Service. “They don’t return my phone calls. They don’t return emails. Nothing.”

Geller also said his organization was in favor of an ordinance that just addressed the problem area in Brentwood or that imposed height regulations on trucks in residential neighborhoods.

“This is a group of West L.A. residents that are going to dictate food truck policy across the city. It’s just these two trucks (in Brentwood), and I wish I could tell those two trucks to get lost. They’ve been talked to and they just don’t care,” Geller said. “And that’s very, very frustrating, but it’s also not fair to communities that rely on food trucks for a night out to dinner.”

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