RALEIGH — With a little help from the city, Mike Stenke told Raleigh City Council members, food trucks can bring a new element to the Raleigh food scene.

But friendlier policies for food trucks won’t help restaurants already facing challenges from the recession, restaurant owners shot back during a public hearing Tuesday.

A proposal would allow food trucks to operate on private property, but not within 50 feet of a restaurant unless they get permission from the restaurant owner. The idea grew out of discussions that started last fall when Stenke, owner of the Klausie’s Pizza food truck, persuaded the city to review its policies.

Stenke was joined Tuesday by about 20 food truck operators and advocates as well as a dozen restaurant owners concerned about what the new policy would mean for their businesses.

Food trucks make sense for festivals and construction sites, but allowing them to set up in business districts is problematic, said Alex Amra, owner of Tobacco Road sports bar.

“What we don’t support is them coming down parking in front of our businesses we’ve worked so hard to open,” Amra said.

Previously, food truck operators had to get special permits for a limited time, a policy geared mainly toward street festivals such as Raleigh Wide Open.

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