City announces first 23 locations for new food trucks
Mobile food trucks with cooking on board would be able to set up shop for two hours-at-a-time in 23 designated locations across the city, under a mayoral plan proposed Wednesday.
Earlier this year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel brokered an end to the two year-stalemate that had stunted Chicago’s growth as a culinary capital to jump-start job creation here that already leads the nation.
To appease brick-and-mortar restaurants concerned about the threat to their businesses, the ordinance required mobile food trucks to: set up shop at least 200 feet away from any licensed restaurant; be in a location where they could “legally park” and not remain in any one location for more than two hours at a time.
The ordinance also created designated “food stands” exempt from the 200-foot buffer — with space for two food trucks — in congested, parking-starved areas.
The two-hour parking limit also applied at those stands, with a minimum of five in each of six designated community areas: the Loop, the Near West Side, Lake View, Lincoln Park, Near North and West Town. Food stands may also be built in other parts of the city.
On Wednesday, the mayor introduced an ordinance designating the first 23 locations. They were selected through a “collaborative process” that included the city’s Department of Transportation, aldermen and neighborhood businesses.
The stands will be located at: 3627 N. Southport; 3420 and 3241 N. Lincoln; 817 W. Belmont; 2934 N. Broadway; 1005 W. Wrightwood; 1030 W. Fullerton; 2156 N. Stockton Drive; 1262 and 1218 N. Milwaukee; 2135 W. Division; 1155 N. Oakley; 219 and 1615 W. Chicago; 149 N. Ashland; 831 N. Wells; 33 and 930 N. LaSalle; 450 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive; 828 N. Larrabee; 30 E. Lake; 125 S. Clark and 437 S. Columbus.
The full council still has to sign off on the ordinance.
“These dedicated food stands for food trucks will provide additional parking opportunities and expanded operations to foster this growing industry,” Emanuel said in a press release.
“They will also help to safeguard communities from added congestion and public safety issues, while creating economic opportunity throughout the city.”
The food truck ordinance made neither side particularly happy.
Food truck owners were unhappy about Emanuel’s plan to require food trucks to stay 200 feet away from brick-and-mortar restaurants. They also bemoaned the plan to restrict them to designated “food stands” in high-density areas and require food trucks to install GPS devices so the city can track their movements and impose $1,000 fines.
Some restaurant owners were equally upset with the mayor’s proposed compromise. They’re afraid that rolling restaurants that don’t pay property taxes will cut into their business at a time when many brick and mortar restaurants that do pay property taxes are struggling to stay alive.