Are Evanston's Rules For Food Trucks Fair?

One food truck is suing the city of Evanston, claiming its requirement that all street vendors must be affiliated with a local restaurant is unfair and unconstitutional. What do you think?

Since aldermen passed legislation to permit food trucks in Evanston two years ago, all has been relatively quiet on the street food front.

That is, until one donut truck last week, challenging its requirement that vendors who wish to obtain a year-long permit must be affiliated with a restaurant in the city. The city also limits food trucks from operating within a 100-foot radius of any local restaurant.

Beavers Donuts & Coffee argues that Evanston's food truck regulations treat local restaurant owners and food truck vendors from outside the city differently, violating the Illinois Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law. Meanwhile, the city maintains that its food truck requirements are justified under Evanston's authority as a Home Rule municipality, and are backed up by prior legislation.

What do you think? Should food trucks be barred from Evanston if they're not affiliated with a local business? Cast your vote in the poll below and explain your case in the comments. 

Amy Kunke August 16, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Some small small businesses are just trying to get their foot in the door with just a food truck.. They are trying to keep it simple and start small. This rule is not fair and only gives bigger, more established businesses a head start, leaving the underdogs to struggle even more.
Jennifer Fisher August 18, 2012 at 10:28 PM
@mij -- Here's the answer: Evanston has licensed just one food truck under its new permit system as a "Mobile Vehicle Food Vendor," Hummingbird Kitchen (affiliated with Union Pizzeria.) There are six food trucks licensed as "Mobile Vehicle Vendors" that are only permitted to sell pre-packaged food (such as ice cream) that is kept hot or cold in the truck.
mij August 24, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Thanks Jennifer SO all those at food truck event sponsored by Alderman Rainy sold cold sandwiches? What about the Ice Cream trucks running up and down the streets are they licensed
Jennifer Fisher August 24, 2012 at 10:12 PM
@mij -- I should have clarified, sorry, but I didn't want things to get more confusing. The city actually issues three types of permits: 1. "Mobile Vehicle Food Vendor" -- yearlong permit to prepare food on truck. 2. "Mobile Vehicle Vendors" -- yearlong permit to sell pre-packaged food on truck. 3. Temporary "Mobile Vehicle Food Vendor," which is a permit that lasts for the duration of an event, such as Dillo Days or Rainey's food truck festival (the food truck that's suing the city was licensed to sell at Dillo Days, then wanted to keep selling here). "Food trucks from businesses in other municipalities can be permitted to participate in temporary events if they meet all other requirements," says city spokesperson Eric Palmer.
Jose February 04, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Restaurant owners obviously do not want individuals none restaurant owners vendors to get permits. A monopoly like the gas stations they don't want competition. It shouldn't be restaurant only vendors..Open it up to everyone .


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