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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Buffalo to Regulate Food Trucks, Takes Cues from Other Cities

In Buffalo, NY, city council was held with members of the council, restaurant owners and food truck vendors to discuss legislation for food trucks in Buffalo. Although some trucks have been in business for over a year, the city has still not enacted legislation regulating how food trucks should operate with respect to restaurants.
Most speakers at the committee spoke in favor of the food trucks, and food truck owners themselves have circulated an online petition, with a goal of 4,000 signatures to be presented. At the end of this council meeting, it was decided that a six member panel with equal representatives from restaurants and food trucks would come up with a compromise plan themselves. In thirty days they are to return to the legislative Committee for a vote to take place in November.
                Elsewhere food trucks have been effectively regulated. In Portland, called one of the top mobile food destinations in the world, food trucks usually park together in parking lots because they are not allowed to park along the streets. In Seattle food trucks are free to roam the city and park along the streets. However, they must stay 50 feet away from any food establishment, including grocery and convenience stores. Trucks also pay the city about $1,000 to park for the year.
Meanwhile in Chicago, food trucks are not permitted at all. Taking cues from these other cites, Buffalo officials are willing to work with the food trucks, but only under a regulated system that strikes the right balance for food trucks and restaurants.

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