DES MOINES, NE – The aroma of food truck cuisine will soon waft through downtown streets, but before it does city officials want public input on the idea.

A food truck festival is planned for this spring to launch a pilot program that will allow mobile vendors in metered parking spaces downtown. City officials will present the latest details Thursday during two meetings at Central Library.

The city wants feedback from vendors, restaurant owners and potential consumers before presenting a final plan to the City Council.

The new guidelines for downtown would temporarily replace a strict policy that limits food trucks to private property and includes requirements for parking and bathrooms.

After two months of regular meetings, here are the nuts and bolts for the new downtown guidelines:

  • Mobile vendors would operate from metered parking spaces.
  • An on-street mobile vending permit would be created. It would cost $550 per year and vendors would still need to plug the parking meter during operations. The current transient merchant permit ($550 per year) would still be required for operations on private property.
  • Vendors would not be allowed to operate between 1:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m.
  • Vendors would be restricted from operating within 100 feet of a brick-and-mortar restaurant entrance or exit.

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