By Contributor | CBC News – Calgary
The third Taste the Trucks food truck festival got underway in Calgary on Saturday, with people coming out to sample the tasty treats despite the wet weather.
Calgary’s mobile kitchens gathered on the East Village Riverwalk in hopes of tempting the tastebuds of Calgarians.
But for some truck owners, the mood was more serious than in past years, as city council prepares to debate new rules on how the trucks should operate.
Jenny Burthwright with Jane Bond Food Truck is one of many owners worried the new laws will be too strict.
“The challenging thing is that there are so many food trucks on the road,” she said.
“They’ve allowed a ton of food trucks to open up and only so many street permits.”
Some owners aren’t happy with the existing bylaws and want to see changes that support their businesses.
One of those bylaws is a restriction on where food trucks can and cannot operate within 100 metres of public parks.
James Boettcher with Fiasco Gelato Truck said the restriction in a park is currently 100 metres, or around 300 feet.
“Realistically, you couldn’t be near a park at 300 feet and I think it’s important to have something that has now become a part of the fabric of the city within those areas.”
Restaurant owners in Calgary have also been voicing concerns over the increased competition from food trucks, which they say face different economic challenges than a bricks-and-mortar restaurant.
However, some restaurant owners are taking advantage of the public’s love of food trucks, such as the Holy Grill diner, which operates the Steakout food truck.
“I think it’s important to find common ground so that it’s fair for everybody,” said Steve Smith with the Steakout food truck.
City council is studying the issues and will present a report to council in October.
In the meantime, Taste the Trucks runs Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the East Village Riverwalk.