So, the city's street food plan received unanimous committee approval yesterday, and is headed to the City Council. The proposal is designed to strengthen our street food culture and give our city a fraction of what exists in Portland. What, exactly, does that mean for Seattle residents with a Twitter account and a jones for squatting on the curb with a fried chicken sandwich?
The major change: Trucks could park on the street. Currently the city requires food trucks to park on private property. This creates a bit of an obstacle in areas like downtown or Capitol Hill. Property owners are less likely to let trucks take up precious, and valuable, parking spaces. However these are precisely the areas where food trucks would do crazy good business.
The proposal would create curbside zones where food trucks could park for a limited time and do their thing. Trucks would pay $2.25 per hour for a single four-hour time slot each week, which brings the city $468 a year. The Seattle Times notes that this is "substantially higher than in an earlier draft from the Mayor's Office, which suggested 85 cents per hour for a four-hour time slot, or an annual cost of $177."
The zones would only accommodate two food trucks, and the city would allow one on each side of a city block. CHS lists the compromises and changes that came out of yesterday's committee meeting. Most deal with trucks' distance from restaurants (concerned about competition) and schools (concerned about fat kids).
The other component of the proposal: sidewalk carts could sell more different types of food. Currently they're limited to things like coffee, popcorn and hot dogs. The full City Council will vote on all this Monday, but given the unanimous committee approval, this is highly unlikely to fail.
· Seattle Food Truck Plan Heading to City Council [Seattle Times]
· Seattle Street Food Initiative Dealing Done, Moves On to Full Council Vote [CHS]
· City Council Will Vote on Street Food Legislation Next Monday [Stranger]