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This afternoon, the D.C. Council passed the uncontroversial sections of the current proposed mobile vending regulations. It also passed as an amendment that will allow the Council to alter other sections, rather than vote the whole thing up or down. The Council plans to revisit the controversial issues in the coming weeks.
The regulations passed today update the vending rules for the first time in more than 30 years. They create new classes of licenses for various types of street vendors. Previously, all food trucks were essentially considered ice cream trucks. The approved rules also address various safety and health requirements and how licenses are issued. They also lay out vending locations for sidewalk vendors and stationary roadway vendors (those big white trucks selling souvenirs and ice cream around the Mall).
Still to be resolved are issues around the mobile vending zones and the lottery system to obtain spaces. Also not passed at this point: the proposed rule that would require food trucks to vend in parking spaces with at least 10 feet of unobstructed sidewalk and the 500-foot buffer zone around vending zones.
At today’s hearing, Councilmember Vincent Orange, who chairs the committee that oversees the proposed regulations, said it’s his goal to address these outstanding matters before the Council goes to recess in mid-July. The Council passed an amendment that will allow food trucks to operate as they have been operating until the whole thing is resolved.
Councilmember Jim Graham also said he hopes to wrap things up quickly: “This is one of the longest running movies at the Council, and it’s not a very interesting movie really,” he said. “It really is time to get as much of this as possible put to bed so we can watch some other movie.”
Photo by Darrow Montgomery