GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Is Grand Rapids’ finally ready to allow food trucks to roam the streets?
A proposal that will be pitched to city commissioners Tuesday would relax the rules for food vendors in the city, allowing them to park in public parks, open spaces and right of ways, including curbside. The proposed ordinance would prohibit food trucks from operating within 100 feet of a traditional restaurant.
The measure would also streamline the licensing process for food trucks and set rules regarding health and safety.
Current city rules only allow food trucks to operate on private property with a special $1,900 permit.
“We still want to operate more days and we’re getting asked to operate more days. But we can’t because of the restrictions,” said Grand Rapids native Tarra Davis, who operates Daddy Pete’s BBQ from a kitchen on wheels.
The reasons vary, but brick and mortar restaurant owners have historically lobbied against the food trucks, considering them unfair competition.
And traditional restaurants pay property taxes – something food trucks aren’t subject to.
But the Davis’s says they’re a niche business, serving quality food for people who don’t want to sit down and eat in a traditional restaurant.
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