ALEXANDRIA, VA – City councilors were visibly frustrated at a meeting last month after hearing the news that Alexandria’s food truck pilot program, which is set to expire at the end of December, had a mere seven participants this year.
City staff said that from the program’s implementation in July 2014 until December 2014, eight food trucks operated in the city under the program, but that number dropped to seven this year. Those figures do not include special events like the West End Business Association’s annual Food Truck Rodeo or regularly scheduled markets with special use permits allowing the mobile eateries, like the Four Mile Run Farmers Market.
City council first approved the pilot program in May 2014, after months of study by a work group comprised of city officials, residents, restaurateurs and food truck owners. The group failed to reach consensus, but then-City Manager Rashad Young proposed regulations that would have allowed on-street vending but restricted it in neighborhoods like Carlyle, Del Ray and Old Town.
But when city council took up the measure, it was greeted with a deluge of opposition from residents and brick-and-mortar restaurateurs. In response, council passed what they felt was a compromise: food trucks could operate in the city, but only in parking lots and parks and only if they paid hundreds of dollars in fees to do business in Alexandria.
Find the entire article at alextimes.com [here]