One Mans Thoughts On Jacksonville Food Truck Rules

One Mans Thoughts On Jacksonville Food Truck Rules

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jacksonville food truck event
Image Credit: jacksonville.com

JACKSONVILLE, FL - After pondering the proposed food truck legislation for the last few weeks, I’ve decided Jacksonville’s food truck industry is intent on slashing their own tires. Instead of pushing for a “gear changing” food truck policy to best serve the community, food truckers are obliging the interest of a few dozen people opposed to Jacksonville’s nascent street food industry.
 
Jacksonville brick and mortar restaurant owners are the main opponents of food trucks, and they have chutzpah, an admirable quality, and one that will set our city back a few more decades. They’re expecting our legislators to severely limit competition from food trucks. Confirming what most of us already know, many of downtown Jacksonville’s restaurants are mediocre at best (Quizno’s at worst) and will not be able to survive higher quality offerings.
 
Councilman Brown’s legislation further validates my feelings that our city’s leaders operate under a guild mentality, even though they think they are proponents of free commerce. Somehow, in this city, we’ve conflated protectionism with a free-market. We’ve redefined conservatism to mean only competition between existing businesses and industries. We’ve confused “invisible hand” to mean coercive legislation.
 
Let’s stop being a city of prohibitions and become a city of permissions. Let’s always seek to increase access and not limit it. Let’s start a permission-based culture of governing. 

Explaining the Current Legislation: 

The proposed bill has one primary purpose:
 
“…to allow both the mobile food dispensing vendor [food trucks], and the established restaurant industry to co-exist without negative financial impact to the other…”  
 
Let’s take a moment to contemplate the ethics (and constitutionality?) behind a policy-maker deciding who or what gets to co-exist and who or what should not be “negatively financially impacted” by competition.
 
Keep thinking… The current legislation essentially bans food trucks from operating in proximity to brick and mortar restaurants or almost any place that the public interacts. Councilman Brown does not think brick and mortars should have to compete for your business. He thinks brick and mortars have an inherent right to define how you spend your lunch money. 

The most recent iteration of 2014-0472, legislation on food trucks, proposes to add a section to Jacksonville’s municipal code, chapter 250, titled “miscellaneous business regulations. This is the section of the code that deals with street and sidewalk vendors, ice cream trucks, auctioneers…etc. Click on the link to see the code.
 
Most of the regulations placed on food trucks are similar to what a typical street vendor has to abide by, the codes placed on street vendors are very inhibiting already. Food trucks, though, are getting an extra layer of unnecessary, industry hurting regulation. 

Find the entire article at metrojacksonville.com <here>

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