Local News

Raleigh ordinance creates red tape for food trucks

Posted October 20, 2011 5:22 p.m. EDT
Updated October 20, 2011 6:52 p.m. EDT

— Five food trucks have obtained permits to operate in Raleigh under regulations that went into effect this month, but operators say the new rules have created some obstacles for them.

City officials debated for months allowing food trucks to operate in Raleigh before the City Council approved an ordinance last month that calls for owners to obtain permits, set hours of operation and keeps them at least 100 feet from restaurants and 50 feet from food-vending carts.

Old North State Barbecue, Klausie's Pizza, Hibachi Express, Valentino's and Don Beto El Poblano are the first trucks to obtain the $150 annual permits. Operators also must pay another $100 for a city business license and health permit.

The ordinance also prevents the trucks from setting up on any street or city parking lot. Instead, they must find a spot on private property and ask the property owner to apply to the city for another $75 permit.

To date, only two property owners have done that: Big Boss Brewery on Wicker Drive and an industrial building on Hodges Street.

"Setting up on properties, you have to go through bunch of different things with zoning and the city, but everything is in the works right now," said Steven Valentino, owner of the Valentino's truck. "It's been a learning curve for everybody, but we're just happy to be part of that learning curve."

Owners say it's unlikely they will ever set up on Fayetteville Street downtown or the Glenwood South district because there aren't enough locations that would conform to the city regulations.

City officials said they plan to review how the ordinance is working next spring.