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With D.C. food truck operators starting an online petition this week urging D.C. Council to pass newly proposed vending regulations, the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) today fired back with its own Internet campaign designed to stop the new rules in their, um, tracks. In a press release, RAMW tells city officials to “go back to the drawing board,” calling the new regs “inadequate and woefully short of actually adhering to the existing law that plainly requires the assignment of designated vending spots for food trucks.”
The group is referring to a 2009 statute, which states:
The Mayor shall designate the specific vending locations on sidewalks, roadways, and other public spaces where a person may vend.
The new regulations, released Jan. 20, specifically allow food trucks and other vending vehicles to “park at any legal parking space,” which RAMW contends is not specific enough under the law.
In its statement, the organization, which represents mostly brick-and-mortar restaurants, tried to clarify its position as not anti-food truck or anti-small business, per se, but rather about promoting fairness for all operators, big or small, rooted or mobile:
Contrary to posted accounts, RAMW is not involved with any coordinated effort against food trucks and does not want to “close these small businesses all together.” RAMW, its members and other concerned businesses and individuals are against the proposed mobile vending regulations and concerned about FAIR and REASONABLE use of public space.
The city is currently taking public comments on the proposed new regulations until Feb. 18.