New Orleans food trucks, you got to be tough. Seriously, over the past two years our city's finest trucks have fought hard for updating archaic laws and granting more yearly permits. Now, they're fighting for the future: Food truck lots. Richard Webster reports that The City Planning Commission has introduced a pilot program that took three years to draft/revise and will allow food truck lots to operate temporarily in "non-residential" neighborhoods. However, the draft includes a few rather restrictive rules that the New Orleans Food Truck Coalition is hoping to see changed before City Council has their way with it.
Since you've already seen temporary food truck lots popping up in New Orleans, you may ask what the big deal is. Currently, temporary lots are granted via special event permits which are good for only one day. Under the new zoning ordinance, food trucks will be allowed to get those permits for two-weeks at a time. Plus, if this all pans out food truck lots could become a big, and potentially permanent, part of New Orleans' ever-changing culinary diversity.
So, the restrictions in the zoning ordinance that food trucks would like to see updated:
· Trucks will only be allowed to operate 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., so they'll basically have to close during dinner rush. They want to extend the hours later.
· Food trucks will only be allowed to operate one day a week if parked in a lot in front of an open business; or three days a week if it's a closed parking lot. Obviously, they want to be able to operate at least five days a week.
· Lot owners must rent each truck at least 1,000 square feet of space, even though trucks only need half that or less. Trucks would like to see this decreased to 500 square feet.
Stay tuned for more on the food truck lot program as it heads to City Council.
· New Orleans food trucks push to operate on temporary lots [NOLA.com]
· Are food truck lots the future of New Orleans? [NOLA.com]
· All Food Truck Coverage [-ENOLA-]
[Photo: Eater NOLA flickr Pool/Paul Broussard]