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Council Committee Hears From Food Truck Owners

The Louisville Metro Council’s Public Safety committee is recommending further changes to an ordinance that regulates the proliferation of food trucks after hearing from the budding entrepreneurs.Last month, Mayor Greg Fischer’s office announced amendments to the law that it argued made it easier for mobile vendors to operate and streamlined the permit process. However, food truck owners criticized the administration for not going far enough while enforcing burdensome regulations.At a hearing Wednesday, city officials and food truck owners discussed ways to either further amend the ordinance or change department policies.Truck owner Craig Boutiette told the panel several rules still prohibit the small businesses from operating successfully."The shut down at 10 p.m. nightfall, that kind of limits me form being able to serve anybody in the industry who is working at a factory," he says. "Another thing, the background check. I don’t agree with that. Who is to determine whether I have a clean background check? Who is to determine whether or not you should be able to own a restaurant? I don’t think it’s fair."Councilman James Peden, R-23, who chairs the committee, called for the discussion after food truck owners criticized Fischer for not doing more, but failed to show up at previous hearings. The southeast lawmaker told WFPL the law needs further changes to help streamline operations for food truck owners."There are so many laws, so many ordinances on the books, I don’t think any one individual is familiar with all everything that applies. Even just to have this open forum discussion we had three difference agencies sitting up front representing the city," he says. "It’s definite that it didn’t go far enough, I just think it’s a matter of it takes a long time to craft a proper ordinance when you’re looking to help something like mobile food vendors."Officials and truck owners discussed eliminating a requirement that mobile units provide the city with detailed maps of their locations. It was recommended the law be changed for truck owners to receive a permission from any authorized property representative instead of the owner, who often live out of state.The committee also suggested making it mandatory that only the truck owner receiving the vendor's license get a background check instead of all employees.The Public Safety committee is asking the mayor’s office to submit further amendments and department memorandum changes by the end of the week.