It could get easier for food trucks in Raleigh to operate

Local News

Courtesy: Milon Fenner

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Raleigh city council is scheduled to consider changes to its food truck and mobile vendor rules on Tuesday.

Food trucks operating within the city have to abide by 15 standards that fall into three categories: geographic and density restrictions, proximity restrictions and permitting and nuisance abatement provisions.

In a memo, city planners said “due to the transitory nature of these uses, municipalities have struggled to craft regulations that mitigate unfavorable externalities but do not hamper the industry.”

Currently, food trucks are not allowed to be within 100 feet of the main entrance of any restaurant, any outdoor dining space, or any fixed location or City-permitted pushcart business of a competing nature. They were also limited to designated loading zone spaces along Polk Street, North Street, South State Street and South Harrington Street.

City planners will recommend 11 changes to the city’s unified Unified Development Ordinance and seven changes to Raleigh’s city code.

Some of those recommendations included allowing food trucks to use public and on-street parking spaces. Planners also recommended setting time limitations for operating in on-street spaces.

Part of the changes could also include allowing food trucks to set up in parking lots and expanding the zoning districts they could operate within.

While the exact distance was not noted, planners recommend a change to the proximity to restaurants in which food trucks can operate. They could also be allowed to use free-standing signage like A-frame menu signage. A-frame menus are stand-alone, customizable boards that take the shape of an ‘A’.

The city memo did note some issues for the city to consider.

For one, food trucks could take up more parking spaces for the general public. Reducing the distance between food trucks and restaurants could “increase local restauranteur anxiety”, the memo also said.

At the same time, planners said it could provide more food access and options. The changes could also create more opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Raleigh City Council is scheduled to hear a presentation on the recommendations during their Tuesday session. Click here to watch.

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