Local food trucks get boost from proposed D.C. regulations

Proposed D.C. regulations to give local food trucks a boost

Farragut Square turns into a food truck frenzy on “Farragut Fridays.” No matter the weather, the park is always filled.

The popular small businesses that are aiming to keep the park filled with food trucks just got a bit of help when the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs released updated proposed regulations. The current rules are 30 years old—suitable for old school ice cream trucks, but not the newest wave of cupcakes and other foods.

“It is long due to have regulations that bring D.C. into modern age,” said Kristi Whitfield, the Executive Director of the D.C. Food Truck Association. “We run business on social media—old regulations don’t contemplate social media,” Whitfield said.

The updated proposal includes allowing food trucks to stay put in a legal parking spot until the meter expires. Under the current regulations, the trucks have to go mobile once there are no customers.

“I have chased down the cupcake truck before—I need cupcake fix so [I’m] glad they can stay stable and not move around,” said Debra Herron, a food truck customer.

With the new regulations, “we won't have to have fake people in line, it's great,” said Jason Martin of the Chupacabra taco food truck.

The new regulations would also require food trucks and sidewalk vendors to pay $587 a year for a permit. Community and business associations could also limit the number of food trucks and sidewalk vendors in specified “zones.”

“These are all small entrepreneurs that are creating businesses, creating jobs and providing vitality- let's find one more way to step on them,” said Alexandria resident Rich Cooper.

Despite being limited by zones, vendors say that is a price they are willing to pay for the broader improvements.

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