Wheeling ordinance changes food truck game

Community

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – A city ordinance has just been put into effect that states vending services are not permitted within 100 feet of a physical establishment which provides a similar product as that being offered by the vendor. This specifically targets the food truck industry in the entire city. And while food trucks are not banned from public property in Wheeling, these new restrictions could really change things in the city.

Wheeling City Manager, Bob Herron, told 7News “the change in the food truck ordinance that has people talking today is a result of established businesses raising concerns about food trucks, the cost associated with the food trucks, the costs associated with them operating, their business and their employees, and the impact that that has on both the food trucks as well as the businesses.”

The point of the ordinance is to take into account both sides; and whether on wheels or brick and mortar, they both have their fair share of costs.

Dean Barath, the owner of Ideal Provisions food truck, said “you shouldn’t infringe on my business model just because we don’t have electricity and we’re not a brick and mortar our business is just the same as everyone else’s business we have a business license like they have a business license you know we pay taxes like they pay taxes. It doesn’t make sense to me because I always say more restaurants is going to attract more business… the more laws you pass the harder it is going to make business.”

This could mean the end to all food trucks in popular spots like Centre Market. The Cheese Melt food truck owner, Thomas Gilson, replied “but it’s not just Centre Market, it’s the entire city of Wheeling, nobody told us that anybody was complaining, nobody said anything to us, you know it directly affects my business as well as all of the other food trucks in the area too and we had no idea so we weren’t able to even give a voice ahead of time we weren’t able to stand our ground or fight or say anything.”

City council may look into reducing the 100 foot radius down to 50 feet. And a big question raised is: who will reinforce the ordinance going forward?

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