ROCHESTER, MN – As some Minnesota food trucks prepare for winter hibernation, the battle over when and where they’re welcome in Rochester isn’t exactly going on ice. Following a summer of food truckers bemoaning restrictions that kept most of them out of downtown, the city opened a public survey last week in hopes of finding a compromise by next spring.

The 20-question survey asks if, when, and where the trucks should be permitted. The issue broiled over the summer after BB’s Pizzaria’s truck got pinched for setting up in a church driveway that was technically part of a city street. Rochester does not allow food trucks to park on downtown streets.

“None of us wants to have a repeat of that next year…” says City Council President Randy Staver. “That’s why we want to be proactive and get ready for next season.”

BB’s eventually returned to a portion of the lot that was clearly private property. But the incident prompted a July “Food Truck Summit” where business owners and would-be customers swapped ideas about how the trucks should be regulated. Staver says they will float the survey for three months or so before crafting revised food truck rules.

In the interim, that doesn’t do much for Donald Sanford. The owner of Don’s Crumble Beef runs his mobile sandwich shop all winter and would love to pull up by the Mayo Clinic’s main campus, which employs around 30,000 people.

“It’d be a golden goose to go down there and hunt,” he says.

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