County food truck law unconstitutional

July 23, 2013

Baltimore County is poised to pass laws to keep food trucks from operating within 300 feet of restaurants ("Balt. Co. Planning Board passes new food truck laws," July 18). That would be a mistake. Food trucks create jobs, serve delicious food to happy customers and provide "eyes on the street" that keep neighborhoods safe.

Further, establishing proximity restrictions between food trucks and restaurants is unconstitutional. Protecting businesses from competition is not a legitimate use of government power, which is why the Institute for Justice, the national law firm for liberty, challenges these regulations nationwide. In El Paso, Texas, for instance, local officials hurriedly dropped that city's vending law (similar to the one Baltimore County is proposing) after being sued.

Baltimore County should scrap its proposed 300-foot rule and let all its entrepreneurs continue to dream big.

Robert Frommer, Arlington, Va.

The writer is an attorney at the Institute for Justice.

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