Jersey City, NJ – A long-awaited proposal to revise Jersey City’s law governing food truck and street carts was tabled Wednesday night by the City Council after food vendors made an impassioned plea to defend their businesses from what they saw as misguided legislation. The ordinance was tabled by a vote of 8 to 1, with Council President Peter Brennan casting the sole no vote and complaining that by tabling the measure, the council was thwarting what he described as a “year and a half of work” on the issue.
Most prominently, the proposal would have included a 60-minute limit on vendors staying in one location before having to move a quarter of a mile; kept vendors at a distance of 100 feet from each other; and restricted food trucks from operating within 300 feet of a “brick and mortar” establishment.
It would also have required a background check, and brought more oversight to the application process, in the wake of the embarrassing July 2009 arrest of health department official Joseph Castagna for allegedly issuing scores of illegal vendor licences (Castagna has since retired.)
“As of today, we don’t know who’s who out there,” Brennan said, referencing Castagna’s illegally issued licenses. He added that because of the legal limbo, the city hasn’t collected any fees on the truck and cart vending licenses in over a year.
“We let this go astray for too long. We want to bring it back under control of the city, and this