Why does it seem every town has a council member who comes out publicly to say that food trucks hold an unfair advantage over restaurants? This time we see it in Maryland. These politicians look directly at one point…restaurants pay property taxes. The unfortunate thing is that they ignore the other aspects that food trucks provide. Not only do they pay taxes, but they pay rent to commissary owners where they park their trucks every night and prepare their food. It’s time these politicians stop ignoring the facts that they were not elected to protect the local restaurant industry from competition.

CHESTERTOWN, MD – The Chestertown council is considering an amendment to the town ordinance regarding food trucks.

The amendment is in response to a request by Ashley Herr. Herr began operating her Black Burro taco truck in August 2014, when the town planning commission unanimously approved her application to set up in the Twilley Lane parking lot in the 200-block of Cannon Street. The approval was for a 90-day trial period to determine the impact of the food truck on the community.

In November, Herr’s attorney sent a proposed amendment to the ordinance on peddlers, under which the food truck was approved, to town hall. It would allow trucks to set up at a number of locations, including Park Row next to Fountain Park, the foot of High Street and in any of the town’s commercial districts. They would not be allowed to set up within 150 feet of an existing restaurant or during farmers market hours Saturday mornings.

Also, the proposed amendment sets a $35 annual license fee for food trucks.

The council discussed the proposal at both of its December meetings. At the Dec. 7 meeting, Mayor Chris Cerino said the request would set a precedent for other food vendors.

Councilman Marty Stetson said he worried about the truck’s effect on downtown restaurants. He said there would be more applications from food trucks if the first was successful. He said restaurants that are paying rent and taxes would be at a disadvantage.

Find the entire article at stardem.com [here]