Virginia Beach food truck rules still not ready to roll

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (WAVY) — A new proposal to regulate food trucks was revealed to city councilors Tuesday, however restaurant owners continue to voice concerns.

Since January, a group of food truck owners, restaurant owners, city staff and councilors including Jessica Abbott (Kempsville) and Bobby Dyer (At-Large) to find ways to improve the way food trucks can do business in the city. 

Currently food truck owners operate under the same permits as “peddlers” and they argue those regulations currently are aimed towards businesses such as ice cream trucks.

For example, ice cream trucks can not stop and park for an extended amount of time and must conduct criminal background checks on drivers.

“Right now we are so suffocated with rules laws and regulations, that we can not operate in Virginia Beach,” said Cassandra Ayala, who founded Eat the Streets 757, a Hampton Roads food truck association. “The are no laws for food trucks and it is not fair.”

The proposal explained Tuesday would put food trucks into their own group. With a permit they could operate in public spaces outside of the beach and Atlantic Avenue. They would also be permitted to park on private property and in neighborhoods as long as there is a construction permit. 

Not all on city council are sold at the moment. 

“As written it’s flawed,” said James Wood, Vice-Mayor. “There are some loopholes in the ordnance as proposed that need such as the type of building permit needed to serve in a neighborhood.”

Wood also said the Virginia Beach Restaurant Association has expressed concerns.

“We have received a lot of emails and contacts form the restaurant association saying that perhaps they weren’t well represented and did not get the information on [the proposal.]

Abbott and Dyer said they would meet with the association to iron out differences. 

The proposal will be heard by the planning commission before it is brought in front of the council before a vote. 

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