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Thu June 13, 2013
New Food Truck Rules Adopted
LEXINGTON,KY--After a contentious commissioners’ meeting Thursday, the Lexington Parking Authority approved new rules for a food truck pilot program.
The regulations would allow vendors to operate trucks in several metered spaces downtown. To match the time limit on the parking meters, trucks would be permitted to sell food for two hours per day from 8-5 PM. However, unlike regular parkers, they could not extend their time by feeding a meter.
The designated areas typically have less than 50% of their spaces occupied at any one time. Because of this, and the limited operating hours, Councilwoman Shevawn Akers says the rules could limit vendors' profitiability, and therefore, the pilot program as a whole.
“If we’re gonna have a real pilot, we need to make it viable. And I don’t think this proposal is viable. We’re gonna show in six months that it was not successful, and I don’t’ think we should be deciding that today before the pilot ever gets started," Akers said.
Scott County truck owner Jason Nodal says that the rules as written would make it impractical for him to do business in Lexington.
“The idea of me coming down and vending off public land for two hours and not knowing if the parking spot is there, and on top of all that like normal, not knowing what my clientele will be or how many folks will show, it’s just too risky," Nodal said.
Nevertheless, Nodal believes the rules are a step in the right direction for food trucks, noting Councilmembers Shevawn Akers and Harry Clarke took political risks in supporting the program.
LPA Commissioners also passed an amendment adding two new parking areas to the rules, located between Broadway and Upper Streets. Akers, however, says that without more time to vend merchandise, few food trucks will want to set up shop.
The Pilot Project still must be approved by the Urban County Council.