Imagine a place that makes California look business-friendly. For food truck entrepreneurs, that place is Washington D.C.
Food trucks first became popular in California and continue to flourish there and in large cities across the nation. But in our nation’s capital, they may be regulated out of business. On May 10, the D.C. City Council will consider new regulations proposed by Mayor Vincent Gray. The regulations are so detrimental to food trucks that even The Washington Post came out against the regulations and in favor of food truck owners. From The Washington Post:
Rules proposed by the city administration … are problematic to say the least. Choices offered to consumers would be reduced; food truck mobility, and thus their ability to meet and create demand, would be drastically cut back.
Currently, food trucks operating in D.C. are governed by outdated rules for ice cream trucks, which includes must having a line in order to stay parked in one area. However, these new regulations have the potential to hurt these businesses. While the new rules will eliminate the ice cream truck rule, the Post puts it best:
But if the choice is between accepting these regulations as proposed and waiting another year, we’ll wait, and so should the council. Why would the city want to snuff out success?
From the Food Truck Association:
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.
Just think about that — 95% of D.C. residents are choosing more freedom for food truck entrepreneurs. Even Barack Obama only got 91% of the vote in D.C.
Show your support on Twitter by using the hashtag #SaveDCFoodTrucks.
I received this reply (most likely sent to all who sent personal emails via the Food Truck Association’s email form) from D.C. Councilwoman Mary Cheh:
I agree with you that, if implemented, the proposed food truck regulations could be too restrictive and I oppose them in their current form. Thanks for your note.