Food Trucks Seek Piece of the Action in Raleigh

RALEIGH — Food trucks may soon gain access to more parts of Raleigh, but they would face several restrictions under a revised proposal moving through City Hall.

In the latest version, trucks must park 100 feet from the nearest restaurant and avoid late-night hours in residential areas. No more than one truck would be allowed per half-acre, preventing “food courts” that feature rows of food trucks.

The city agreed to look at its policies last year at the urging of Mike Stenke, owner of the popular Klausie’s Pizza food truck.

People in love with food truck culture rallied behind Stenke’s cause, flooding City Council members with email and public shows of support.

But the city also heard from restaurant owners who point out they pay high-dollar rent and property taxes – and shouldn’t have to compete with low-overhead operations parked outside.

Their concerns are outlined in a memo to city officials from the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, which said restaurant owners are “very concerned” about the changes. An earlier 50-foot separation requirement “seems too close for comfort for the restaurants,” DRA officials wrote.

“I just want to see a law passed at this point,” Stenke said.

Raleigh would require food trucks to meet cleanliness standards, maintain business and health permits and properly dispose of grease and trash. Previously, food truck operators had to get special permits for a limited time.

The food truck policy will be discussed at the planning commission meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Raleigh City Council chambers, 222 W. Hargett St.