The Washington Post notes that the DC Council will hold a hearing on May 10 where the proposed DC food truck regulations will be discussed. The council may only vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on passing the regulations and cannot make any modifications. Judging from the last public comment period, about 95% of DC residents are hoping that the Council will reject the regulations as they are currently proposed.
The Food Truck Association published a press release this morning noting that DC Councilmembers Mary Cheh and David Grosso have also expressed concerns over Mayor Gray’s proposed new regulations. The full release is copied below.
Meanwhile, the Arlington County Board voted to loosen food truck parking limits by another hour, to two hours, providing relief to both food truck operators and their fans.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC – The Washington Post’s editorial page today voiced support for DC food trucks and wrote that the new proposed food truck regulations should be sent back for changes.
“Rules proposed by the city administration … are problematic to say the least,” writes the Washington Post. “Choices offered to consumers would be reduced; food truck mobility, and thus their ability to meet and create demand, would be drastically cut back.”
DC Councilmembers Mary Cheh and David Grosso last week also expressed concerns over Mayor Gray’s proposed new regulations.
“You mentioned that it bring in lots of taxes, you mentioned that it has the opportunity for 500 jobs – I would also add that people really like the food and the availability of the food,” said Cheh at last Friday’s District Department of Transportation oversight hearing. “So it serves a need that people are very happy to have those trucks for.”
“Speaking for myself at any rate, I think the regulations … are far too narrow in terms of what they permit,” continued Cheh. “I’m going to ask the Committee to take a real close look at those regulations. I don’t think they’re adequate.”
“I’m in complete agreement with the Chairwoman,” said Grosso. “I think these regulations are too restrictive. I am a bit disappointed too, because I think a lot of work has gone into this.”
“I like the fact that it’s a small business incubator,” added Grosso. “It gets small businesses up and going. It gives people an opportunity to engage with our economy that didn’t normally have that opportunity.”
Both Cheh and Grosso are members of the Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Committee, which will hold a public hearing about the proposed new regulations on May 10.
If adopted by the DC Council, Gray’s proposal would restrict food trucks to a limited number of lottery-assigned locations in the most popular areas, ban food trucks within 500 feet of lottery-assigned spaces and ban food trucks where there is less than 10 feet of unobstructed sidewalk.
A growing number of District residents are supporting DC food trucks and calling for the proposed new regulations to be sent back for revisions. Nearly 95 percent of public comments reject the proposal, and the Foggy Bottom Advisory Neighborhood Commission opposes the regulations.
“Business like Zipcar and Car2Go have been able to negotiate great agreements with the city,” said Che Ruddell-Tabisola, political director of the Food Truck Association of Metropolitan Washington, at the oversight hearing. “We believe the food trucks should have that opportunity.”
The Food Truck Association is a group of more than 60 local food truck owner-operators. We seek to sustain the wellbeing of our industry, foster a sense of community and work in partnership to improve food truck regulations. We are engaged community members who deeply care about our city and believe in working together to make a positive impact. The Food Truck Association’s signature event is the Curbside Cookoff food truck festival series. For more information visit www.DCFoodTrucks.org.