Food Trucks One Step Closer to Downtown

Raleigh Planning Commissioners Tuesday unanimously approved new rules for food trucks that will allow them to operate in downtown Raleigh. City Council members could give final approval next week to loosen the regulations.

Food trucks have operated in Raleigh since September 2011, following nearly a year of debate. Eight months later, city staff reported few problems with the trucks, which led to discussion of whether to change the regulations governing the mobile eateries.

The new rules will allow more than one food truck to park on the same property: two food trucks on lots that are one-half acre or less, three trucks on lots between one-half and one acre and four trucks on lots greater than one acre but less than two acres. There will be no maximum on lots larger than two acres.

If approved by the City Council next Tuesday, the change will also allow trucks to operate in the Downtown Overlay District, which covers most of downtown Raleigh, except Glenwood South to Hillsborough Street.

Food trucks will be able to operate downtown as long as the property meets the required commercial zoning.

Parts of the law will remain in effect. For example, the lots must be privately owned and the property owner is required to get a permit from the city. Trucks must be at least 100 feet away from the main entrance of any brick-and-mortar restaurant or outdoor dining area and 50 feet from any food cart.

At the public hearing in October, only two people — both food truck owners — commented on the potential changes.

City Council members will make the final decision at its next meeting Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. in the Council chambers at 222 W. Hargett St.

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