BETHESDA, MD – A County Council bill that would extend the amount of time food trucks are allowed to operate each day is facing pushback from representatives of brick-and-mortar restaurants.

Jane Redicker, president of the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce, and Melvin Thompson, senior vice president at the Restaurant Association of Maryland, told the council at a Tuesday public hearing that they’re opposed to the measure unless other restrictions are added for food trucks.

“We hope to work on some compromise,” Thompson said. “Extending food truck operating hours without also addressing the myriad other issues that are often involved in these situations is a bit short-sighted. We’re looking to find a way to create a regulatory structure so that food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants can peacefully coexist.”

The bill would provide a legally distinct definition of a food truck. County law currently treats food trucks the same as all other vendors.

That means food trucks can only operate before sunset. In the fall and winter, that often restricts food trucks to serving food at lunch.

While food truck operators have said the so-called “dawn to dusk” rule is rarely enforced, the bill would allow them to operate from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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