Chicago, IL: Alderman Wants to Revisit Food Truck Ordinance in Light of Ice Cream Trucks

Ice Cream Trucks Lined up at Pars, Cicero and Arthington, Chicago

By Jennifer Brandel |

Ice Cream Trucks Lined up at Pars, Cicero and Arthington, Chicago

A Chicago Alderman is calling for city council to renegotiate the recently passed mobile food truck ordinance. Earlier this week WBEZ reported the ordinance may actually end up hurting the ice cream truck industry.

When the hotly contested mobile food truck ordinance passed a month ago, ice cream trucks were not part of the conversation.

Alderman John Arena of the 45th Ward said, “There was very little discussion about this.”

Arena was the only Alderman to vote against the food truck ordinance, and he said he did so largely because of how restrictive it was overall.

He said the ordinance’s hearings were instead focused on cooking regulations and proximity to nearby restaurants.

But it turns out ice cream trucks are also subject to the new law’s restrictions. They, too won’t be able to sell near area restaurants or other mobile food truck stands and will have to install GPS devices on every vehicle.

Arena added, “This is small business. These are the littlest guys on the ladder, and if we don’t pay attention to that, then I just don’t think we’re doing well in terms of government.”

Existing laws already ban ice cream trucks from the streets of 10 wards. See the map below for the restricted areas.

Arena wants the city council to go back and take a comprehensive look at all food truck legislation. He said he’ll bring the matter to Rosemary Krimbel, the city’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Commissioner.