Queen City Food Fight Resolved Through Compromise

September 29, 2011 Updated Sep 29, 2011 at 8:25 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

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September 29, 2011 Updated Sep 29, 2011 at 8:25 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW)- Thursday food truck and Buffalo restaurant owners marched to City Hall for a public hearing, hoping to come up with a solution on how to solve the mobile food truck debate. Currently, the city has no law pertaining specifically to the operation of food trucks. For months, these traveling food trucks have upset some restaurant owners and their landlords. They argue these vendors have an unfair advantage by setting up shop wherever they choose. But food truck owners say they already self-govern themselves by keeping a distance from brick and mortar restaurants. They also add they pay taxes and purchase city permits.

"Competition only produces a better product," said Peter Cimino, co-owner of Lloyd Taco Truck. "I think we should leave it up to the individual what type of food they want and where they want to get it from."

Both sides agree that some type of compromise is needed in this debate, and have agreed to create a committee. The committee will comprise of both restaurant and food truck owners. Members will have 30 days to come up with a solution and will then submit their recommendations to the Buffalo Common Council by the end of October. Council Member Joseph Golombek has proposed legislation that would require food trucks to operate no closer than a 100 feet from food establishments.

"Whenever you do something new, people get scared. Especially for those who've been in business already," said Golombek. "But I think this can be a win-win for everybody."

The Entrepreneurs For A Better Buffalo, a group of small locally owned and operated businesses, released a statement saying in part:

"Mobile food vendors are a way to add even more value to buffalo's food scene and we do not seek to negatively impact or comment upon their business. We are only interested in the proposed legislation."