SARASOTA, FL – Food trucks are officially unfettered and free to roam throughout most commercial areas of unincorporated Sarasota County, thanks to changes that relax its archaic mobile vendor rules.
The Sarasota County Commission voted unanimously to approve the rules Tuesday, ending more than a year of often frustrating and repeatedly delayed negotiations with a major victory for several dozen local truck owners who have supported the changes.
The decision moved SRQ Food Truck Alliance founder Chris Jett to tears. He has spearheaded the effort to revamp the rules for nearly five years, and he personally shepherded and advocated for the most recent round of changes through a series of obstacles county staff, planners and commissioners threw at the proposal.
Ultimately, the rules approved were a mix of protection measures for residential areas and new freedom for truck owners to make arrangements for their locations without the need for individual permits for each.
“Are they perfect rules? No,” Jett said. “But they’re a big step forward and will allow these entrepreneurs to actually operate their trucks the way they need to be operated, with the ability to move.”