Birmingham city council passes new rules for food trucks

Birmingham city council passes new rules for food trucks

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Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Tuesday, the Birmingham City council approved a new set of rules for food trucks inside city limits.

Councilors have been working on the food truck regulations for more than a year and some vendors say the rules are unfair. Councilors tried to take pieces of several food truck rules from around the country.

The new rules include requiring food truck owners to apply for licenses, pay extra to park downtown, operate only from Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with few exceptions, and set up at least 150 feet away from brick and mortar restaurants. The trucks must also find a so-called zone where they must stay and share the space on a rotating basis.

The food truck coalition calls the rules too restrictive for business, but the council president says this balances the needs of brick and mortar restaurants with mobile food vendors.

"We were basically fighting zones, no zones, they were restrictive and oppressive and they don't work for our business model, and we were fighting the hours," said Pagit Pizitz, owner of Melt food truck.

Pizitz and her attorney say some council members approved the ordinance without having read the final draft of a process that's taken more than a year.

Council President Johnathan Austin says the city's had a constructive ongoing dialogue with the food truck community.

"The ordinance we passed addressed the brick and mortar, the distance, but also the most important thing which is parking in the city right of way. And that's something we have to protect and also regulate," Austin said.

The food truck coalition will meet Thursday to decide what their next step is.

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