Alexandria City Council agrees to 16-month trial with food trucks - with restrictions

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WJLA) - It seems everywhere you turn in the district and Arlington, you see them.

You might actually smell the aroma first.

More and more food trucks have popped up in the area ever since restrictions were eased up a bit. All kinds, from tacos to cheesesteaks.

"We work long hours; but its good money. We have a regular customer base," says one local food truck vendor.

Well, now these meals on wheels will be expanding in Northern Virginia.

The Alexandria City Council voted 4-2 Saturday to grant a 16-month tryout to food truck sales.

But this area, which has debated this issue for years, still remains very cautious, only allowing the trucks to set up shop in parks, parking lots and schools during special events.

"Regular food truck customer Tony Wharton says the trend is a convenient one.

"There's no line," he said. "It's quick, and I don't have to find parking."

Some vendors, who already have multiple trucks in operation, see this news as a chance to expand to a new area.

"[There's] too much competition in D.C.," says vendor Henok Aligaz. "If we will be able to go to Virginia, [that's] more customers for us."

The decision to allow only off-street food truck sales was a compromise after plenty of opposition. City officials, restaurant owners and some residents say they worry that bringing food trucks to Old Town will congest roads, take up parking and create eye sores.

Under trial guidelines, interested vendors will have to pay about $600 a year to register.

The 16-month trial period in the City of Alexandria will begin July 1.