SPOKANE, WA – Proposed regulations on mobile food trucks operating in Spokane were temporarily withdrawn from City Council consideration Monday night following organized opposition from owners concerned about fees and restrictions.
“We are all very glad to see that the city of Spokane is being proactive,” said Joile Forral, president of the newly formed Greater Spokane Food Truck Association. “However, we do not feel that the ordinances … are ready to be passed.”
The council agreed 5-2 to a one-month delay sought by Council President Ben Stuckart and Councilman Mike Allen. Both want to meet with all sides over the next month to try ironing out the concerns.
Among them are provisions enabling property owners to prohibit the food trucks and carts from operating in adjacent public rights of way such as city parking stalls or sidewalks, and a fee structure that charges an additional amount for each location mobile truck operators want to operate in. The regulations also would enable fixed-location restaurants to prohibit food trucks from setting up within 75 feet of their front door, though some council members indicated they’re unlikely to budge on that one.
Meanwhile, food trucks will continue to operate in a legal gray area.
State law requires that they comply with the same health and safety laws as restaurants, but none of the city’s business licenses adequately address the way the increasingly popular industry does business, leaving food truck operators potentially vulnerable if local authorities decided to crack down on them.
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