Public Hearing Held on Food Truck Battle

October 25, 2011 Updated Oct 25, 2011 at 6:25 PM EDT

By Allen Leight

October 25, 2011 Updated Oct 25, 2011 at 6:25 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The latest round in Buffalo's 'Food Fight' over mobile food trucks took place in City Hall Tuesday.

The council heard concerns from citizens and business owners of the proposed legislation to regulate mobile food vendors, otherwise known as food trucks.

The trucks are currently operating in a legal 'gray area' as no regulations have been established that say what they can and can not do or where they can set-up shop.

A group representing the about a dozen mobile food vendors has proposed legislation that the council is considering, however it has raised concerns among the established restaurant community.

Attorney Michael Kooshoian represents the group 'Entrepreneurs for a Better Buffalo' who would like to see the establishment of zones that require the mobile trucks to apply for permits to serve in a specified spot and want to see them regulated like brick and mortar establishments and hot dog vendors.

Supporters for the popular food trucks say that any restrictions that go beyond regulating public safety are protectionist, against competition and unconstitutional; and if restaurants want to enjoy the benefits of food trucks, they should get in the food truck business.

The proposed legislation does prevent any mobile truck from setting up within 100 feet of the front door of any open restaurant.

The issue was tabled again Tuesday, but councilmembers say they want to vote on the issue soon, maybe as soon as November so they some precedent can be established in regulating the trucks.

The two sides also say they would like a resolution soon, and hope to meet again in private before the council votes on any resolution.