Raleigh is set to consider another milestone in its slow crawl toward a more accepting food truck culture downtown. City councilors will hold a public hearing Tuesday on whether or not to allow more food trucks per lot and to allow the mobile businesses to come closer into downtown.
The hearing comes after a six-month review of the initial food truck law, which opened the door for food trucks, but placed strict limitations on where they could operate. City officials claim they've received no complaints about the law so far.
After a year of debate, with many restaurateurs lobbying against food trucks, Raleigh passed a law that allowed the trucks near downtown, but only on private property. They were also hampered by only being able to park 100 feet or more beyond a restaurant.
The new provision would increase the number of food trucks allowed to operate on a half-acre lot from one to two, with the number progressively increasing for larger plot sizes as well.
It would also allow food trucks to enter what's called the Downtown Overlay District, an area that comprises the heart of downtown. Still, don't expect a food truck smorgasbord if the changes go into effect.
Raleigh's rules are stringent compared to those in other cities, like Durham. Food trucks are allowed to use any public parking in Durham and the number allowed on any lot is not restricted. Portland, Ore., and Austin, Texas, are among cities with similar laws.
The public hearing begins at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.