MUNCIE, IN – The city’s tough new regulations on food trucks came after complaints from local restaurants.
Muncie City Council on Monday passed an ordinance prohibiting food trucks — rolling purveyors of meals that have been a growing national trend — from parking and doing business within 150 feet of a restaurant.
The move took by surprise one food truck owner as well as one local business owner who’s friendly to food trucks, but Mayor Dennis Tyler said the ordinance came after local brick-and-mortar restaurant owners raised concerns about unfair competition.
“There is a concern from restaurants, and from me and others,” Tyler told The Star Press on Wednesday. “I appreciate those food trucks. There’s certainly a place for them, but the place isn’t to park right in front of a merchant.”
Bob Mattax, owner of the Slop on Top food truck, didn’t know about the city ordinance passed Monday until he was told about it by The Star Press. He said he was concerned that the new 150-foot no-food-truck zones would prohibit his truck and others from operating in the most likely spots in the city, downtown and the Village.
“That would eliminate all of downtown,” Mattax said. “I think that will likely have some pretty negative impact.”
Concerns raised about competition
Muncie hasn’t seen as big a boom in food trucks as some cities. Slop on Top, a couple of other trucks offering barbecue and Mexican food as well as carts selling hot dogs have operated locally in recent years, usually downtown at lunchtime and in the Village near Ball State University in the evening and late at night.
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