NEW ORLEANS -- New proposed legislation changing how food trucks operate in New Orleans was officially introduced at this week's City Council meeting.
However, not everyone is eager to see food truck laws relaxed.
Thursday night, food trucks lined up along Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard for the Central City Food Truck Festival, catering to hungry mouths. Among the crowd was Andrew Legrand.
"The city has some pretty restrictive ordinances as far as mobile food vendors go and they're looking to change those," said Legrand, who is the attorney representing the Food Truck Coalition. He said what is being proposed is a step in the right direction.
"So there are going to be more mobile food vendors on the street now. They reduced the proximity restrictions from 600 feet down to 50 feet and they also gave us more of the CBD," said Legrand of the proposed "pilot program" City Council President Stacy Head has introduced.
If the City Council gives the greenlight to the changes, food truck permits would also double from 100 to 200.
"There are lots of places in the city that would be great to have these semi-permanent food truck operations," said Head.
However, not everyone wants to see food truck laws relaxed in New Orleans. An online petition with 253 signatures is posted at http://www.signon.org opposed to the new legislation. It says allowing food trucks to park closer to restaurants will negatively impact their bottom line.
Head said those concerns have been addressed.
"We've tried to come up with rules that restrict the operation of food trucks within a certain proximity to established restaurants, as well as prohibiting them in the densely populated areas," said Head.
Good Work Network co-hosted Thursday night's festival. The non-profit, which helps small businesses grow, says the food truck culture has the potential to encourage both entrepreneurship and commerce in the Crescent City.
"New Orleans is a great food city and a city driven by small business, so we find food trucks a great combination of both of them," Miller.
Head said if the City Council passes the pilot program it would run on a trial basis. That vote could come in late February.
Head's office is also working with the city attorney to completely revise the city's current mobile food vendor code.