NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR – Less than a year after setting regulations for mobile food vendors, the North Little Rock City Council is about to consider loosening those rules to make it easier for mobile food trucks to operate in the city.

The amendment seeks to “clarify and simplify” lengthy regulations that became difficult for mobile food vendors to meet, City Attorney Jason Carter said.

The City Council will introduce the changes at its 6 p.m. meeting today but may decide to postpone a vote until its next meeting to allow for a future public hearing, Carter said.

“We want to alleviate some of the burdens that we consider to be unnecessary to impose on people,” Carter said. “Basically, we just want to make it easier for them to operate.”

The proposal deletes 73 lines from the six-page ordinance approved by the City Council on July 14, while adding 12 lines to simplify some rules. One rule that will stay, according to the legislation, limits food trucks to special events only.

Donna Hardcastle, executive director of the Argenta Downtown Council and the Argenta Arts Foundation, said the current rules make the city appear “unfriendly” toward mobile food vendors.

Because the Downtown Council and the Arts Foundation both sponsor and manage special events downtown, Hardcastle has worked with Mayor Joe Smith to simplify the process. Smith is sponsoring the legislation change.

“I think the whole process was real cumbersome, with way too many details for them to meet that are not required when they set up in other cities,” Hardcastle said. “We wanted to have people in the food truck business not to think that we’re unfriendly to them, and that’s the impression they have right now. We want to get past that.”

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