LAS VEGAS, NV – Food trucks prowling Las Vegas city streets will need to stay at least 150 feet from restaurants under an ordinance approved Wednesday by the City Council.
The council voted 5-1, with Councilman Steve Ross against, in favor of the ordinance, which has been the subject of debate for more than a year.
It appeared all but dead in September when the council tabled it after members couldn’t agree on an appropriate distance.
But Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian called it back to the agenda as a way to prevent open-air food vendors from putting out unsightly tents, tarps, cords and pipes.
“I knew I needed to move somehow in a direction to take care of that,” Tarkanian said.
Regulations for the open-air vendors, which operate in parking lots out of trailers, were added to the proposed ordinance for food trucks.
Restaurants have pushed for a distance buffer, saying food trucks are poaching business. Food truck owners have pushed back, saying they should be free to compete for customers.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman had proposed a 150-foot buffer, but in March, the Planning Commission proposed a 1,320-foot zone. It was altered again to 300 feet by the recommending committee before the council failed to pass it Sept. 5.
During the meeting Wednesday, advocates for both sides of the issue pressed the council to support their positions.
Tom Dennis, owner of the Redneck Kitchen food truck, said that most food truck owners self-police for appropriate behavior and that too many regulations could become burdensome.
“We want to have some class when we are doing this; the 150 feet or more, that is just keeping us out of some areas,” Dennis said. “Please keep in mind that a great distance really hurts us.”
But Wes Isbutt and Debra Heiser, owners of the Bar and Bistro restaurant and advocates for food truck regulations, said they resent trucks that park nearby when he holds events aimed at attracting customers.
“We spend all of this money to do marketing and bring all these people down to our bistro,” Heiser said. “People literally have to pass his truck to come to our restaurant.”
Find the entire article by Benjamin Spillman at lvrj.com <here>