City Wants New Rules for D.C. Food Trucks - NBC4 Washington

City Wants New Rules for D.C. Food Trucks

Current laws governing food trucks 30-years old: Mayor



    Council looking to overhaul laws governing how food trucks operate in the District. News4's Megan McGrath reports. (Published Friday, Jan. 20, 2012)

    Food trucks have brought a revolution in D.C.'s midday dining.

    Vendors operating food trucks have become a thriving part of the District' small business community.

    But the success of food trucks has brought friction with brick and mortar restaurant.  Regulations on the books are 30 years old, and are geared toward old style ice cream and hotdog trucks.

    Change is on the way.  The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs today posted a new set of proposed regulations.

    Among the recommended changes:

    New rules would establish special food truck zones, where the location and number of trucks could be regulated.  Some of the bad blood arises when 4-wheeled food vendors park near or directly in front of established restaurants.

    There will be new rules regarding how long a truck could stay in place. Right now, the old ice cream truck rules apply - technically a vendor can stop only if waived over by a customer, and can remain stationary only if there's a line.  That's obviously very different from how food trucks are operating now.

    The city would also like to give DCRA greater powers to write citations, in order to better enforce health codes as well as police business licenses.

    "These proposed regulations eliminate outdated requirements," said Mayor Vincent Gray, and " make it easier for the smallest of entrepreneurs to set up a business here and expand the food options available to consumers.”

    In Farragut Square at lunch time, many vendors told News4 they welcome the change.

    The full list of proposals will be published into the D.C. Register Friday, and will undergo a 30-day public comment period.  Final regulations will go before the D.C. Council for a vote.