Food truckies help outline regulations

Food truck owners, council members to meet Monday to revise bill

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The debate over food trucks in Jacksonville is moving forward at City Hall.

A committee formed to come up with legislation outlining guidelines food truck operators have to follow, will meet again Monday.

They're popping up all over the country and Jacksonville is no exception. You see food trucks on any given day in Hemming Plaza, near the courthouse and in corporate parks.

In February, Jacksonville City Councilman Reginald Brown proposed a bill that would put restrictions on how food trucks do business. There was immediate backlash from food truck owners who feared their business would be compromised or at risk of even shutting down. Working together, the councilman formed a committee to work on the bill.

"Very excited about the progress you know, we went from a very concerned industry to basically an industry that realizes that city legislation is needed and they embraced it and I believe that we are going to come away with a god product that everyone can work up under," said Brown.

Jennifer Kline co-owns a food truck named Up in Smoke BBQ and she's also a member of the committee.

"We went through line by line at the last meeting and we went through and got a bunch of stuff that we got thrown out and a bunch of stuff that's going to stay," said Kline.

Meeting for the second time Monday, Kline expects they'll go over items the committee tabled at their first meeting.

"You know being within so many feet of a brick and mortar with like food so we're trying to fight that it's free enterpriseā€¦ We would like to see us be able to park where we're allowed to park with regulation but we should be able to park anywhere and be competitive," said Kline.

A concept that once had food truck operators frantic, Kline said she believes this way of drafting the legislation, they'll have to follow, is reasonable and fair.

"I think it's gone really great. Reggie Brown has done a great job of making us feel included in the decision making as well. I don't know where the brick and mortars stand because they haven't shown up yet so we'll see how the next meeting goes.

Councilman Brown said he gave himself 90 days to get the bill finalized, so that means he hopes to have it done within the next two months.

The meeting Monday is at 4 p.m. at City Hall and they welcome the public to come and give input.

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