Chalk up another city looking to enter the food truck industry. We hope when developing their ordinance, the city speaks with all of the stakeholders involved. Too many times we see cities starting the food truck conversation without speaking with food truck vendors. It’s those laws that usually fall short of promotion and lean toward restaurant protectionism.

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA — For Kelli Evans, owner the Grateful Crepe, the recipe for operating a successful food truck does not include stamping out the competition.

Instead, Evans wants more mobile food vendors and she supports the city’s new push for formal regulations as it tries to embrace the niche.

“I’m a huge proponent of really trying to get a huge food truck movement here in Cedar Rapids like you see in a lot of other cities — Chicago, Portland, Minneapolis,” said Evans, who parks outside the U.S. Bank Building, 222 Second Ave. SE, and is a staple of the downtown lunch hour. “I think the city needs a food truck ordinance, but I don’t think it needs to be super restrictive.”

Citing “rapid growth” in interest in food trucks, Cedar Rapids officials are developing the city’s first-ever food truck ordinance.

The city has scheduled two public informational meetings about the ordinance, which would also cover other mobile vendors such as ice cream trucks and food carts, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday and from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Tuesday in the City Hall lower-level training room.

“The city has seen an increased level of interest in this type of business model,” said Bill Micheel, assistant director of community development. “This spring, as it gets warmer, we are hearing from more people who are potentially interested in operating a food truck in Cedar Rapids.”

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