News

Local food truck forced to move from longtime spot, relocates across street

Nelly's moves to other side of Vineyard Avenue after traffic complaints

A food truck that has operated on Vineyard Avenue since the 1990s was recently forced to relocate -- albeit not far from its original location -- after Pleasanton city officials determined the business was creating traffic problems.

Nelly’s taco truck is now parking in a turnout near the intersection of Vineyard and Isabel avenues across the street from its former spot, weeks after a complaint from a nearby winery prompted code enforcement officers to visit the site, according to Pleasanton community development director Gerry Beaudin.

In the 1990s, the city crafted a policy allowing the Mexican food truck to park in city-owned right-of-way on Vineyard Avenue so long as it was off the road and not creating any traffic issues, Beaudin said Tuesday.

But in early June, the city received a letter from a local winery -- the name of which Beaudin did not know off-hand -- complaining that the truck was creating traffic hazards and requesting that the city step in.

City officials spoke to the food truck operator, Beaudin said, and came out to the site to observe traffic on multiple occasions in late June.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support PleasantonWeekly.com for as little as $5/month.

Learn more

“We wanted to work with this business owner and we did for as long as we could,” Beaudin said. “But we received complaints about traffic hazards and witnessed those same things and ultimately decided it was in the best interest of everyone to not use this location as it had been in the past.”

He added that while he did not know the specific issues code enforcement officers encountered at the food truck site, patrons “weren’t parking their vehicles and entering and exiting that location in a safe manner.”

“It’s not ideal to have a business operating on the side of the road like that,” Beaudin said.

On June 30, the city sent the taco truck operator a notice stating that, due to lack of legal parking and traffic hazards, they could no longer do business at that spot.

When code enforcement officers returned to the area July 3, they found the truck had relocated nearby, across the street to land in Alameda County's jurisdiction, Beaudin said.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up

“It’s unfortunate,” he said of the outcome. “We tried everything to work with the food truck operator and gave them plenty of time and notice. It all comes down to traffic safety.”

Follow PleasantonWeekly.com and the Pleasanton Weekly on Twitter @pleasantonnews, Facebook and on Instagram @pleasantonweekly for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Local food truck forced to move from longtime spot, relocates across street

Nelly's moves to other side of Vineyard Avenue after traffic complaints

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Jul 18, 2017, 6:03 pm

A food truck that has operated on Vineyard Avenue since the 1990s was recently forced to relocate -- albeit not far from its original location -- after Pleasanton city officials determined the business was creating traffic problems.

Nelly’s taco truck is now parking in a turnout near the intersection of Vineyard and Isabel avenues across the street from its former spot, weeks after a complaint from a nearby winery prompted code enforcement officers to visit the site, according to Pleasanton community development director Gerry Beaudin.

In the 1990s, the city crafted a policy allowing the Mexican food truck to park in city-owned right-of-way on Vineyard Avenue so long as it was off the road and not creating any traffic issues, Beaudin said Tuesday.

But in early June, the city received a letter from a local winery -- the name of which Beaudin did not know off-hand -- complaining that the truck was creating traffic hazards and requesting that the city step in.

City officials spoke to the food truck operator, Beaudin said, and came out to the site to observe traffic on multiple occasions in late June.

“We wanted to work with this business owner and we did for as long as we could,” Beaudin said. “But we received complaints about traffic hazards and witnessed those same things and ultimately decided it was in the best interest of everyone to not use this location as it had been in the past.”

He added that while he did not know the specific issues code enforcement officers encountered at the food truck site, patrons “weren’t parking their vehicles and entering and exiting that location in a safe manner.”

“It’s not ideal to have a business operating on the side of the road like that,” Beaudin said.

On June 30, the city sent the taco truck operator a notice stating that, due to lack of legal parking and traffic hazards, they could no longer do business at that spot.

When code enforcement officers returned to the area July 3, they found the truck had relocated nearby, across the street to land in Alameda County's jurisdiction, Beaudin said.

“It’s unfortunate,” he said of the outcome. “We tried everything to work with the food truck operator and gave them plenty of time and notice. It all comes down to traffic safety.”

Comments

Grapevines
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Jul 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm
Grapevines, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Jul 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm
3 people like this

Thanks PW for the research and the update!


no name chosen
Registered user
Downtown
on Jul 18, 2017 at 10:13 pm
no name chosen, Downtown
Registered user
on Jul 18, 2017 at 10:13 pm
45 people like this

Happy to see that the truck has a new location.

If the Pleasanton code enforcement department is so concerned about "safety" how about enforcing the law with regard to signs placed on the sidewalks that are trip hazards and vehicles parked that block the sidewalks? Among all of the other code violations that are ignored each and every day in this town.

This was a simple case of [removed] not wanting the "poorly dressed" patrons of the taco truck to be anywhere near their so-called high class establishments.


Bill
Pleasanton Heights
on Jul 18, 2017 at 10:16 pm
Bill, Pleasanton Heights
on Jul 18, 2017 at 10:16 pm
26 people like this

That taco truck is pretty good! Casa Real, not so much. Noted. There are other places to hold events. Those apparently aren't my kind of people.


Map
Del Prado
on Jul 18, 2017 at 10:29 pm
Map, Del Prado
on Jul 18, 2017 at 10:29 pm
21 people like this

How about enforcing the blocked intersection at st. Mary and Main St during commute hours and all the illegal U-turns on Main St happening all day long.


Pleasanton Parent
Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 18, 2017 at 10:35 pm
Pleasanton Parent , Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 18, 2017 at 10:35 pm
8 people like this

Map - completely agree on gridlock enforcement. Seems like easy pickings and revenue generation....but if chasing taco trucks generates revenue....


Code enforcement (or picking on a small business owner?)
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2017 at 10:40 pm
Code enforcement (or picking on a small business owner?), Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2017 at 10:40 pm
58 people like this

I agree with no name chosen.

Glad the taco truck was able to move a few inches outside of the city limits.

The taco truck had a pre-existing permit that the city nullified. How disappointing. Sounds like David (the food truck) against Goliath (the winery).

The only traffic "hazards" I see with food establishments in town is the constant traffic back-up on Neal Street with Meadowlark Dairy and the back up to Johnson Drive at In and Out Burger.

But the city chooses to go after the taco truck.

Very tacky. And it makes the city look like idiots and bullies, unfortunately.


Resident
Downtown
on Jul 19, 2017 at 9:16 am
Resident , Downtown
on Jul 19, 2017 at 9:16 am
14 people like this

Map - completely agree on gridlock enforcement. Seems like easy pickings and revenue generation....but if chasing taco trucks generates revenue....

But it does NOT generate revenue. Code enforcement is just there to put people into compliance, it generates no revenue for the city. But perhaps enforcement against a taco truck with "undesirable " customers generates some free wine tasting at the winery? This was a case of someone at the winery and event center throwing their weight around and the code enforcement people allowing it to happen. Both sides are wrong and thankfully the taco truck found a new, and better, home.


Trivalley
Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 19, 2017 at 10:25 am
Trivalley, Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 19, 2017 at 10:25 am
34 people like this

It is indeed a shame to go after the toco truck based on a couple local wineries. This is the same Pleasanton that ok'ed the parking and congestion mess near the in and out/Chick-fil-A on Johnson Drive/Owens, Also the One lane of Owens drive near a new apartment building.


sabina
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Jul 19, 2017 at 12:13 pm
sabina, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2017 at 12:13 pm
13 people like this

Typical snooty wine people.....


Anatolli
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Jul 19, 2017 at 3:05 pm
Anatolli, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2017 at 3:05 pm
37 people like this

Why did the food truck cross the road? To get away from all the whine-ing.


Jim Van Dyke
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Jul 19, 2017 at 3:18 pm
Jim Van Dyke, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2017 at 3:18 pm
Like this comment

It sounds like a set-up for a joke: why did the food truck cross the road?


Pleasanton Commuter
Registered user
Ruby Hill
on Jul 19, 2017 at 3:21 pm
Pleasanton Commuter, Ruby Hill
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2017 at 3:21 pm
8 people like this

As a frequent commuter in and out of that area and someone familiar with the winery I have witnessed multiple traffic violations from that truck’s patrons and when traveling along Piemonte have seen patrons block the winery’s entrances and exits and pull unsafely out into the road. Piemonte is the back entrance to the Ruby Hill gated community and people come flying along that road. It’s a wonder no one has been hurt as of yet. There’s also a major construction project happening right there with highway 84. While I don’t work for the winery, I personally don’t think it’s fair to throw out racial accusations against a business (or the business’s patrons) when not the whole story is known. If they were against the taco truck why wouldn’t have they spoken out against it years ago? It seems like the traffic and construction was the major issue.


Randall Frost
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Jul 19, 2017 at 3:56 pm
Randall Frost, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2017 at 3:56 pm
4 people like this

[Removed because the information could not be verified. This post referenced was submitted by a "community member" and not a journalist.]


MOB
Registered user
Del Prado
on Jul 19, 2017 at 4:19 pm
MOB, Del Prado
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2017 at 4:19 pm
17 people like this

Sad, the taco truck has been doing business there for over 18 years and now this is a problem? Someone who is working to provide for their family, pay taxes and stimulate the economy all of a sudden it's an issue. There are other major issues within Pleasanton that the Code Enforcement officer should focus on. Wishing the taco truck all the best and I hope they continue to do business in that area (great food).


Flightops
Registered user
Downtown
on Jul 19, 2017 at 4:35 pm
Flightops, Downtown
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2017 at 4:35 pm
24 people like this

Will start patronizing that taco truck a little more frequently, better food than what is served at the Mexican restaurants downtown, will not visit that winery anymore I have no pity for cry babies!


no name chosen
Registered user
Downtown
on Jul 19, 2017 at 6:42 pm
no name chosen, Downtown
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2017 at 6:42 pm
22 people like this

I suggest that everyone in town call code enforcement officer, Mark Dennis, at 925-931-5620 whenever they see ANY infraction at all. That includes sidewalk signs, violation of conditional use permits (such as excess noise) or you can call just to find out if something actually is an infraction. It seems that Mr. Dennis has plenty of time to zero in on a taco truck that is properly permitted but no time to enforce all of the other code violations around town. I wonder who the "friends in the City" are and whether they can be prosecuted for acting on this vendetta on the part of [removed because the information is not verified].


Grapevines
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Jul 19, 2017 at 7:44 pm
Grapevines, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2017 at 7:44 pm
4 people like this

Can I just say "sigh?" I don't know why the truck was moved. Ruby Hill did close their main gate a few yards away for repair and is having everyone use the construction entrance in front of the old taco truck location, so maybe it's reasonable for the truck to have temporarily moved. I don't know about why code enforcement was so enthralled by this, if the posts are true.


no name chosen
Registered user
Downtown
on Jul 20, 2017 at 12:48 pm
no name chosen, Downtown
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2017 at 12:48 pm
9 people like this

I understand removing things that cannot be verified - however, PW, Mr. Mark Dennis is on record as saying that the complaints about the taco truck originated [removed because it could not be verified by PW staff]. When the code enforcement guy tells someone who complained it seems that the fact of "who complained" has now been sufficiently established.


LanceM
Registered user
Mohr Park
on Jul 20, 2017 at 2:34 pm
LanceM, Mohr Park
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2017 at 2:34 pm
3 people like this

But it is a Taco TRUCK. It is designed to move.

Let's all remember. It is not the taco truck's fault that many of its customers don't know how to drive/park. If there were no issues (and the enforcement folks said they observed traffic issues be caused by patrons) then nothing would have happened.


Gina Channell, Pleasanton Weekly Publisher
Registered user
Downtown
on Jul 20, 2017 at 4:20 pm
Gina Channell, Pleasanton Weekly Publisher, Downtown
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2017 at 4:20 pm
2 people like this

No Name Chosen - Where is Mark Dennis on record as saying that? We have tried to get verification of who filed the complaint and why from city staff but Dennis is on vacation and the only other person who might have knowledge is out of the office. If you have written documentation -- the complaint or an email -- please send them to me at gchannell@pleasantonweekly.com.


Flightops
Registered user
Downtown
on Jul 20, 2017 at 5:30 pm
Flightops, Downtown
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2017 at 5:30 pm
6 people like this

Hmmmmmm. One person on vacation and the other person is out of the office, great timing, very convenient!


no name chosen
Registered user
Downtown
on Jul 20, 2017 at 6:07 pm
no name chosen, Downtown
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2017 at 6:07 pm
2 people like this

@GinaChannell:

From the original post by Randall Frost:

"Curious, I contacted the City of Pleasanton later that day and was told the person handling the case was the head of the code enforcement department, [removed]...


Gina Channell-Allen
Registered user
Downtown
on Jul 21, 2017 at 8:48 am
Gina Channell-Allen, Downtown
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2017 at 8:48 am
6 people like this

@NoName --- That is my point. Who is Randall Frost? Does he have a bias against those two businesses? Why can't we get a document or someone on record with that information?

And, if the issue is the taco truck being forced to move, why is the name of the winery so important? Could Randall Frost be a pseudonym for the owner of a competing winery? I don't know. I asked for documentation of the conversation and have not received it and Dennis isn't here to ask.

Randall Frost seems very determined to get the names of those businesses into the public forum, posting it here and on other sites that accept posts from community members that are often taken as journalism. Why?

Look at this as if it were a person -- like you -- being accused of something. The number of times it's put in a public forum and the authoritative manner in which it is written does not make it any more true or accurate. It's the job of professional, trained journalists to ask these questions.


no name chosen
Registered user
Downtown
on Jul 21, 2017 at 9:13 am
no name chosen, Downtown
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2017 at 9:13 am
4 people like this

@Gina, I see your point. Knowing that you remove unverified information, my supposition was that the "Randall Frost" postings had been verified as you did not remove all of them.

I will not repost the names of these businesses but I will ask that you please follow up when Mark Dennis returns and put your followup information on this site. If "Randall's" allegations are correct we have a right to know that and I trust that you would agree and allow the information to be posted once again.

Thanks for being diligent and taking the time to explain your reasoning.


Grapevines
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Jul 21, 2017 at 1:18 pm
Grapevines, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2017 at 1:18 pm
3 people like this

Finally tried them...quite good for the area! A CBS news crew was out there when I went, so perhaps we'll hear more tonight?


Gina Channell, Pleasanton Weekly Publisher
Registered user
Downtown
on Jul 21, 2017 at 1:40 pm
Gina Channell, Pleasanton Weekly Publisher, Downtown
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2017 at 1:40 pm
7 people like this

I'm sure they will check things out before potentially harming a business or businesses with a one-source story (ie CNN debacle).

This is really starting to sound less like concern for a small taco truck (which seems to be doing well across the street from its previous location) and more like someone has an axe to grind with those two businesses, or at least can benefit from damaging their brand, isn't it?

But maybe CBS will be able to show how terrible the traffic is at that location at that time. That, in all likelihood, is the real reason behind the relocation.

We will follow up with Mark Dennis Monday.


FrequentWalkerMiles
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2017 at 2:43 pm
FrequentWalkerMiles, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2017 at 2:43 pm
8 people like this

This seems like a reasonable outcome that everyone can live with. The truck moved across the street, the bike lane is no longer blocked by the taco truck's caution cones, the walking path is not serving simultaneously as dining area/waiting area, and people can park closer and safer.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.