SANTA FE, NM – In cities across America, the food truck industry appears to be thriving, offering everything from gourmet cuisine to waffle sandwiches dripping in cheese.

But in the city of Santa Fe, regulations have inhibited the industry’s expansion.

That could change under a proposal policymakers are considering that would ease restrictions and open up the market not just for food trucks but also for other mobile vendors.

Currently, the city issues only 15 permits to so-called street vendors: 10 to sell food and five to sell other kinds of merchandise. The permits to sell food disappear faster than a honey-soaked sopaipilla at Tia Sophia’s. These permits are separate from the limited number of permits that allow sales on the Santa Fe Plaza.

Under a proposed ordinance, which is aimed at creating business opportunities and giving consumers more choices, the city would offer an unlimited number of permits to what would now be called vehicle vendors.

Removal of the cap on the number of permits issued under the new ordinance would not be limited to the sale of food and drink, but would include sales of merchandise, such as a picture-framing shop on wheels, and services, such as a mobile manicurist.

“It really opens up a lot of business opportunities for people that didn’t exist before,” Matt O’Reilly, the city’s asset development director, said Tuesday.

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