LUBBOCK, TX – When Chris Clary started up Krazy Korn Gourmet Popcorn a few years ago, he had difficultly selling his product in prominent locations.

“We had a lot of obstacles with the city with certain ordinances and regulations,” Clary of Lubbock said.

Although he’s taken a break from selling at outdoor venues, Clary still wanted to show his support for other small businesses during the Free the Food Truck event Sunday at Garden Ridge in Lubbock.

Despite hot temperatures and long lines, more than 1,000 residents sampled food and signed a petition asking the City Council to “lighten up” the food truck regulations during Lubbock’s first Food Truck Expo.

The city’s ordinances prevent food trucks from setting up in most of the places people would visit to grab a quick bite to eat, leaving the majority of local food truck businesses reliant on catering jobs.

Stuart Walker, the director of code enforcement for the city, said earlier this week the current zoning ordinance only allows the vendors to set up in specifically zoned areas, primarily industrial.

Connie Olivas, an organizer of the petition, said those limitations hinder businesses from thriving.

Olivas has been operating her food truck, La Picosita, for about three years and said she’s limited in where she can park to serve her Spanish food.

“We do a lot of events and catering, so that gets us by, but we would really, really love to park where we want to,” she said.

Olivas said she’s been wanting to get a petition started since last year and finally decided to round up some of the other local street vendors and food trucks for the event.

“We’ll go against the city and see what happens,” she said. “All they can do is tell us no.”

Olivas said at least 1,200 people signed the petition.

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