FAIRAX, VA – When Fairfax County loosened its rules on food trucks last month, county leaders were hoping it would boost the food truck scene in urbanizing areas of the county, like Tysons Corner, Reston and Merrifield.
However, around the same time, a popular lunchtime gathering spot for food trucks, on Solutions Drive in Tysons, was essentially shut down, as more frequent visits from county police were leading to trucks being ticketed.
According to truck owner Wolf Antoni, the cafeteria at a nearby office complex had been under renovation for well over a year, but once it re-opened the company reportedly began calling police to report the food trucks.
“Tysons, I think that is pretty much dead,” Antoni said.
Despite the county’s efforts to make it easier for food trucks to operate, there is still a state law that prohibits vending from state roadways, which includes nearly every street in Fairfax County.
“The police can’t pick and choose where they’re going to enforce laws,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova (D), although she also said they are not targeting food trucks. “When they are called … then they have to do what they are sworn to do and uphold the law.”
Other local jurisdictions, namely Arlington and the City of Alexandria, control their own streets and have more freedom to create their own rules for food trucks.
Some local food truck owners are continuing to vend regularly in Reston, despite the state law, and hoping for the best. Others are pursuing arrangements with office parks and shopping centers to park on private property, which is allowed under the county rules.
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