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Councilman proposes Food Truck Legislation

Plus, new street food event starts this week in Midtown.

The street food movement isn't slowing down. 

New food truck events are popping up each week in the city, including one that begins Wednesday in Midtown.

Now almost any day of the week, you can enjoy mobile cuisine from the 20+ trucks that roam around Atlanta:  There's at the Woodruff Arts Center, at Atlantic Station, on the Westside, as well as events in Inman Park, Buckhead and Virginia-Highland. 

An Atlanta councilman is working to encourage street food in the city. 

Monday night, Dist. 2 Councilman Kwanza Hall, who represents neighborhoods including Atlantic Station and West Midtown, introduced an ordinance that lifts some restrictions on food truck vending on private property. 

"Basically, this ordinance would allow trucks to vend at multiple private property locations throughout the city," Greg Smith, president of the Atlanta Street Food Coalition, said Tuesday in an email. Smith helped the councilman draft the ordinance. 

"Currently, the trucks are limited to just one location within city limits," he said, except during special events. 

The proposed legislation (which still must be approved by City Council) says food trucks can operate from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. It also reduces the required distance between food trucks and other restaurants with similar menus. Currently, the required distance is 1,500 feet. Hall's legislation would reduce that to 200 feet. 

The "only area of possible contention, as we see it, is the distance requirements from brick-and-mortar establishments serving similar fare," Jay Tribby, Hall's chief of staff, said Monday in an email. "Brick-and-mortar places will want to retain current 1,500 feet distance."

The legislation, however, does not allow street food vendors to operate on public property.

"We think this will have better chance of Council support," Tribby said. Sorting out the rules for vending on public property is far "too complicated" for a quick resolution, he said. 

Smith doesn't know when food trucks will be allowed to operate from public property. 

"I don't necessarily have a time frame on the public property piece of the puzzle," said Smith, an attorney who also owns the ice cream truck Westside Creamery. "I really want to see how this works out before we move forward on that. 

"Vending on public property is significantly more complicated than vending on private property."

So, while street food isn't yet serving from sidewalks, efforts are headed in the right direction. 

"I am really happy with Kwanza's proposal," Smith said. 

Street Food Happy Hour!

A new street food event begins this week in Midtown.

Street Food Happy Hour will held once a month in the parking lot of The Hub Atlanta, 1369 Spring Street. Coordinated with Ticket Alternative, the street food event will be held from 7 to 10 p.m on the fourth Wednesday of every month, beginning June 22. 

Enjoy street food, music and craft beers from Wild Heaven.

For more information, click here. 

Dan Armstrong June 21, 2011 at 09:39 PM
I live in Midtown and work Downtown......let DOWNTOWN have vendors 2 !!

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