Food Trucks Temporarily Allowed to Operate in Parking Lots; Advance Registration Required

Posted on July 15, 2020

Graphic reads, Mobile Food Trucks in the City of Santa Ana. Mobile food trucks may request written permission to vend in private or public parking lots. Must register at For details visit"

Food trucks are now allowed to use private parking lots and certain City owned parking lots for vending activities under a resolution approved last week by the Santa Ana City Council. Resolution No. 2020-055 suspends the requirement of a Land Use Certificate for food vending vehicles to operate in these locations.

This expands on an existing policy implemented by the City of Santa Ana that made it easier for restaurants and retailers to operate outside, part of the City’s ongoing efforts to support businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Detailed information is available within the Guide for Expanded Restaurant + Retail Space revised July 8, 2020, at

The City of Santa Ana continues to urge businesses and community members to practice social distancing, wear a face covering when in public, wash your hands frequently, and ensure COVID-19 safety protocols as recommended by the OC Health Care Agency and California Department of Public Health.

Guidelines for Mobile Food Vending on Private Parking Lots:

Beginning July 15, 2020, mobile food vendors may vend on private parking lots and MUST adhere to the following:

  • Receive WRITTEN PERMISSION from private parking lot owner in advance (commercial or industrial zone parking lots)
  • MUST register with the City of Santa Ana before operating on a private parking lot:
  • Maximum space of 30 feet by 20 feet per vendor; multiple vendors on one lot is allowed
  • May NOT exceed 25% of the entire parking lot
  • May NOT operate on a property with a competing business during business hours
  • May operate until 2 a.m.
  • May NOT operate past 12 a.m. (midnight) if within 500 feet of a residential area
  • Maintain a distance of 4 feet away from any structure or building
  • May use two 10-foot-by-10-foot canopies and up to 4 tables with chairs
  • At night, low voltage lighting is allowed.
  • No amplified noise is permitted.

The full list of rules is in the Guide for Expanded Restaurant + Retail Space at A sample site plan with guidelines is available as Exhibit F.

Mobile food vending vehicles must have current business license and health care permits. Operator is solely responsible for contacting the parking lot owners in advance to request written permission to operate. A sample letter is available at  If operating as a public nuisance, permission to operate may be revoked. Parking lot area and radius must be maintained clean at all times. Operator is responsible for ensuring COVID-19 safety protocols.

For questions, please email or call (714) 673-3619.

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