HIGHLAND PARK, IL – Food truck vendors won’t be permitted to nip away at the business of Highland Park’s brick-and-mortar restaurants — not even for a one-day special event.

The Highland Park City Council has turned down a request from the Highland Park Public Library that would have allowed food truck operators to sell food outside the library during an upcoming “How-To Fest” on June 7.

Library sponsors were seeking the city’s permission to block off six parking spaces on the public right-of-way in front of the library at 494 Laurel Ave. on the Sunday of the festival.

“I don’t have a problem with the parking spaces,” prefaced City Councilwoman Alyssa Knobel when the item came up for a vote April 27. “It’s what they are going to do with them. They want to put food trucks in that space. This is a very busy time for our downtown restaurants.”

The city’s Business and Economic Development Commission considered whether the city should issue permits to food truck operators during Knobel’s tenure as chair in early 2013, after staff received more than 25 inquiries from interested vendors.

“It never came before the city council because of the strong opposition from local restaurants,” Knobel told her council colleagues. “I cannot support this.”

The library’s request was denied in a 2-5 vote.

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