BUFFALO, NY – Food trucks are fast becoming a convenient alternative to brick and mortar restaurants but a fight over fees threatened to put the brakes on the growing industry.
The Buffalo Common Council had to do something, because the city’s food truck regulations were about to expire April 1. Truck owners wanted lower fees and less red tape and they got at least some of what they asked for.
The Council approved a new set of regulations for food trucks Tuesday afternoon, cutting license renewal fees in half from $1,000 to $500. New food trucks still have to pay the $1,000 fee the very first time they apply for a license.
Niagara District Councilman David Rivera said, “I think we need to put the welcome mat out. We have to create a business climate where people want to come to Buffalo.”
Fillmore District Councilman David Franczyk added, “Once the public safety criterion has is met – which is mandatory, absolutely mandatory – then we don’t want to put restraints on this kind of entrepreneurship.”
All food trucks are held to the same sanitation and health standards as restaurants. They are inspected every year by the Erie County Health Department, must follow guidelines for food preparation and handling of uncooked or raw products, and are required to have trash cans available for their customers.
The regulations approved Tuesday still require food trucks to stay at least 100 feet away from any open restaurant kitchen. Outside of those boundaries, they are free to move between locations whenever and wherever the operators wish.
At the Common Council hearing, several restaurant owners spoke in support of their food truck counterparts.
“I would be very happy if more trucks were parked near my restaurant in the University Heights area,” Greg Kemp, the owner of Amy’s Place on Main Street, said. “I think it would be great for all the local businesses, including non-restaurants… you know, Talking Leaves
Find the entire article by Rachel Kingston at WIVB.com <here>