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Politics

City Officials, Food Truck Operators Discuss Regulations

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Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Brown and city food truck operators met on Wednesday to discuss new regulations for the rolling eateries.Several changes were made to a proposal introduced by Brown last month to satisfy the concerns of truck operators. The proposed legislation was the focus of public outcry after food truck owners said it would make running a successful food truck business impossible in the city.

Food truck vendors will be allowed to operate from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. The draft previously shut down operations at midnight.

The language was modified to allow food trucks to be in residential neighborhoods if it has a written agreement with a homeowner to cater an event.

City lawyers clarified confusion over language requiring bathrooms, saying the policy applied to those giving away food like a church to the homeless and not where it’s being sold for profit.

Other guidelines, like where the trucks can park, will follow state regulations.

Jennifer Kline with Up in Smoke BBQ said she’s happy Brown and other city officials are listening to their concerns.

"I just hope that we can come to an agreement which I think we can. I hope that we can start getting some more space for food trucks to park downtown as well as other areas of Jacksonville," she said.

Reggie Brown said he learned a lot from the food truck operators about what state regulations they already work under.

He said there is more to learn from city officials about how other municipalities regulate the food truck business.

"There is definitely some work that they have to do and I think this particular ordinance brought a lot of things out as to some of the deficiencies and concerns of things we can do better, " he said. "We have a lot of work to do within two weeks but I believe each department will do the work and come back with some answers."

Brown said they’ll meet again Monday, March 24 at 4 p.m. to further discuss the proposed ordinance.

You can follow Kevin Meerschaert on Twitter @KMeerschaertJax.