New regulations in place for Newport News food trucks

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by Kaila DeRienzo, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on August 18, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 18 at 5:31 PM

NEWPORT NEWS -- It's not uncommon to see hundreds of Newport News Shipbuilding employees grab a bite on their lunch break at one of several food trucks and carts that line nearby streets.

But they may soon have to find somewhere else to eat because of new rules the city has put in place for food trucks and carts.

Since 1993, no set rules for vendors have been in place, which made it easy for anyone to set up a table and sell food.

Beginning September 1, every vendor will have an assigned spot and the city will know exactly what they are selling.

The area outside of the Shipyard will be known as the Food Vendor District. 

Only 17 permits were granted and getting them was a process.

"We had to camp out at City Hall for four days," said Thaddeus Carney Jr., who has been working at a food cart for 15 years.

Carney's vendor friend down the street wasn't as lucky.

"They sent us a letter in the mail about a week before, and then everyone camped outside of City Hall, which I didn't know nothing about until the last minute," a worker at the Agape food truck, who wishes not to be named, said.

Now, he has to move over 20 blocks away. A very long walk for Shipyard workers with only a half-hour break.

"It's a disgrace for my customers, but there's nothing we can do besides tell people to go to City Hall and write a complaint," he added.
 
City officials are willing to work with those who weren't able to get a permit after September 1, but there are no set plans yet.

"We really have their support here. So, it's a matter of seeing what happens September 1," Carney said.

The city will also require each food truck and cart to have a health department permit, as well as a minimum amount of insurance.

A representative from Newport News City Council said the rules are meant to regulate the trucks, not hurt business.
 

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