Baltimore food trucks lend support to Washington vendors

April 22, 2013|By Richard Gorelick,
The Baltimore Sun

A group representing Baltimore-area food trucks have signed a letter of support for the Food Truck Association of Metropolitan Washington, which is fighting a set of new regulations it fears will hamper and even cripple its business.

Addressed to the Council of the District of Columbia, the letter was signed by eight regional food truck associations, including the Maryland Mobile Food Truck Association, whose members operate in the Baltimore area. 

The letter says proposed regulations from Mayor Vincent C. Gray "represent some of the worst food truck laws in the country." If passed, the letter says, the regulations "would transform the District overnight from a leader in mobile vending to one of the worst food truck cities in the nation."

One of those proposed regulations from would prohibit trucks from serving customers within 500 feet of spaces that have been assigned to trucks by a lottery.

"For those dozens of food trucks that don't win the lottery," vendors say, "the choice will be to either shut down for an entire month because of the limited number of viable places left to vend or leave the District of Columbia for more friendly jurisdictions."

In a statement of support attached to the letter, Willy Dely, president of the Maryland Mobile Food Truck Association, said, "There is no place for gambling in small business ownership and we hope that the District will find a proper way to regulate DC food trucks."

Baltimore City's food truck regulations are more liberal. The City established five pilot food truck zones in June 2011, but vendors are allowed to vend from any valid parking location in Baltimore City, as long as they adhere to existing parking regulations.


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