baltimore_county_logoBALTIMORE, MD – Specifics of Baltimore County’s proposed food truck legislation revisions were presented Thursday at a public hearing before the county Planning Board, and several dozen restaurateurs and food truck owners gave input on the legislation.

“Food trucks are a relatively new form of food vender service that need a new set of regulations to reflect they are both mobile and stationary, while also protecting established brick-and-mortar food establishments,” Donnell Zeigler, a member of the Department of Planning’s community planning division.

The need for revising food truck laws stemmed from inconsistencies in the existing code, said Ziegler.

Regulations now require a mobile food vendor in Baltimore County have a state permit, a Baltimore County Huckster License and several approvals from the Baltimore County Department of Health and Environmental Health Services, Zeigler said.

The Maryland Restaurant Association wrote to Baltimore County in 2011 to request clarifications to the laws.

Since then, the Department of Planning has held several meetings with the local business community, the Maryland Mobile Food Vending Association and the restaurant association

The stakeholders agreed to two of the work group’s three stated goals — defining food trucks in the county code and creating a new, exclusive permit for them. They did not reach an agreement on food truck-exclusive parking areas.

The proposed regulations now define a food truck as “a self-contained mobile vehicle that sells food from the curb side of its vehicle to customers on the curb side of a public street with the following restrictions,” according to Zeigler’s presentation.

Also included in the proposed regulations is a new exclusive food truck license with its own health standards and protocols; food trucks will be required to pass the same county health inspections as restaurants. They must also honor the parking time limits and be parked streetside 300 feet away from the front door of a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

Find the entire article by Jon Meoli at the Baltimore Sun <here>