Washington, DC: Food Truck Reform an All-or-Nothing Proposition

Photo Credit: MobileFoodNews.com

Photo Credit: MobileFoodNews.com

When it comes to the mayor’s proposed food truck regulations, D.C. Council members are in a bind: They can only vote yes or no.

“The council can only act to approve or disapprove the regulations before us in their entirety,” said Vincent Orange, the chair of the Committee on Business, Consumer & Regulatory Affairs, during a hearing Friday. “I can tell you my current thought is that we the council should have an opportunity to seize control of this issue.”

Orange, joined by Councilmen David Grosso and Jim Graham, mulled changing District law to give the council the power to change the regulations.

This is the fourth version of the city’s proposed food truck regulations. It has been met with howls of disapproval from food truck owners who staged a protest in Farragut Square last Monday.

Graham said the debate over food truck regulations reminded him of a previous city-wide food feud.

“I’ve been around Washington long enough to remember the debate around sidewalk cafes,” Graham said. Ultimately, the District welcomed sidewalk cafes and they have been accepted as part of life in the District.

Food trucks have focused their opposition on two features of the District’s proposed regulations. For one, the regulations do not specify how many spaces will be provided in regulated food truck zones. These regulated zones are scattered throughout the city in areas known to attract food trucks, like Farragut Square and L’Enfant Promenade. Read More