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Tribune Unearths 2010 Illinois Restaurant Association Food Truck Documents

By Amy Cavanaugh in Food on Apr 21, 2012 7:00PM

On Monday, the Tribune reported that Mayor Emanuel’s office is working with Alderman Tom Tunney on a new proposed food truck ordinance, but neither office would share any details about what was in the new proposal or when it would be introduced. Yesterday, the paper ran a piece that highlighted notes from an August 2010 meeting between 19 members of the Illinois Restaurant Association’s (IRA) Government Relations Committee, which includes Tunney:

The IRA verified the authenticity of the document but said it didn't represent the IRA's official position. The Tribune is still waiting to hear back about which, if any, of the committee's specific recommendations the IRA still supports. They include:

Starting food trucks in the Park District as “an incubator to work out any operational issues.”

Requiring that all food truck operators “have an existing brick-and-mortar establishment.”

Raising the license fee “much higher” than the proposed $660.

Imposing “stringent location and hours of operation restrictions.”

Requiring mobile vendors to submit a “designated route that limits where they are allowed to make sales.”

Reworking the language of current rules that restrict food truck operation within 200 feet of a “similar” establishment and 100 feet from a “dissimilar” one.

Creating specific zones “where units are permitted to operate.”

It’s going to be interesting to see if any of these initial proposals remain in place, but if they do, it's going to be even harder for food truck operators to take to the streets.