Citing 'Nuisance,' Council Looks to Limit Ice Cream Truck Music

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Photo by Drew Kelley 

Long Beach neighborhoods where ice cream trucks roam free all summer may soon be a little more natural sonic ambiance if 6th District Councilmember Dee Andrews' proposal to limit their amplified music passes at tomorrow's council meeting. 

Citing numerous resident complaints about processions of shrill music blaring for up to 45 minutes at a time, Andrews wants to force ice cream trucks to comply with the City's noise ordinance and silence their music tracks while parked and serving customers.

Despite the joy that the sound of an ice cream truck can bring to children, in areas of his District, the trucks' perpetual high-volume music has become "a nuisance," according to Andrews, because it continues throughout the day and into the evening as multiple trucks make their rounds in the same neighborhoods.

"Most of the trucks are reported to make several trips on the same route while playing the shrill music for 30 to 45 minutes," Andrews said in the agenda item notes. "In several cases, an additional ice cream truck will follow the first one and the cycle repeats through out the day. There have been incidents when muliple trucks were on one block at the same time, each with their music loud."

Currently, there are no laws in place regulating ice cream trucks from playing music when they are parked and so the item is requesting that the City Attorney amend the municpial code 5.51.060 to specifically include this issue. If the motion passes, amplified music from ice cream trucks would need to be turned off when they are parked and dispensing ice cream.

"I have been living in the Wrigley Neighborhood for seven years and each year, the ice cream truck noise gets louder and the trucks increase in numbers," said Sam Portillo, a 6th District resident. "It has definitely affected my quality of life for years and I am thankful that something is being proposed to address the problem."

The noise abatement would be attached to the vendor's business license and make complying a condition of their operation within the city. Several Orange County cities, such as Fullerton and Santa Ana, have also limited ice cream truck music in recent years.

Ice cream trucks operate in Long Beach year round, however, the summer months see an increase in such seasonal businesses, which is why Andrews said he is bringing this item to the council now. Andrews' has already been joined in his proposal by 9th District Councilmember Steve Neal and 1st District Councilmember Robert Garcia.

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