Food Trucks Fighting 'The Man' In Florida

Illustration for article titled Food Trucks Fighting The Man In Florida
Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

Jacksonville, Florida Councilman Reggie Brown thinks food trucks are coming up a little too fast in his town. He wants to tighten regulations on mobile food vendors to create a "level playing field" in the town's food-purveying industry. Food truck owners adamantly disagree.

Brown's proposal is mostly a list of mandates as to where food trucks can park. That sounds reasonable enough in of itself, but I also grant that the list is extensive. The first question that comes to my mind is, why does the Jacksonville restaurant business need to be a "level playing field?" Then again, I understand the need to tweak regulations on new businesses as they change over time. Perhaps Jacksonville's original food truck rules became obsolete as the market evolved.

Either way, food truck proprietors interviewed by Floridian NBC affiliate FCN seem pretty worked up; Jennifer Kline of the 'Up In Smoke' truck told the TV station "It would cause me to lose my livelihood."


The Councilman maintains thats he's willing to keep an open mind. "If [the food truck operators] have a better idea of how to do it, I want to hear it."

Both parties will be debating the issue in a meeting next Wednesday.

The proposal in question is below, so you can see what all the fuss is about. Do ordinances like this help our economy function efficiently, or would this be a frivolous curtailment of good capitalism?

Food Truck Proposal Ordinance 2014 by Kristen Dressel


Image: Bob B. Brown/Flickr

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The phrase "level playing field" when talking about commerce-restricting laws is usually code for "protect special interest groups that threw money at my campaign".