Proposed Plan Could Provide Roadblocks For Tulsa Food Trucks

Friday, May 16th 2014, 6:30 pm
By: News On 6

Changes could be coming to where you find your local food trucks, and not everyone is happy about that. The Tulsa city council is considering a plan that would move food trucks farther away from brick and mortar restaurants.

Food trucks are growing in popularity, we're seeing more and more of them on the streets, but there are also some concerns about where they can park.

It's become the go-to place for hungry Tulsans.

"People enjoy it, nice variety. It's kind of a craze right now," said Bryan Bennett with Back Street.

We're talking about food trucks. Many are lined up at the Blue Dome Arts Festival, but you're likely to see them all around town.

Erik Schweiger with Cactus Jack's BBQ, said, "The food truck industry is such a boom right now. It's drawing crowds and restaurants are appreciating that."

Right now, food trucks cannot park within 150 feet of a brick and mortar restaurant, unless they're at festivals or events, but Tulsa city council will soon consider a proposal to move food trucks at least 300 feet from restaurants, that's the length of a football field.

The food trucks would be allowed closer than 300 feet if they have written permission from the restaurant.

One of the big complaints the city gets about food trucks is the generators and the loud noise that comes with it. They say businesses and restaurants that the food trucks park next to, the generators disturb their customers.

Jeff Gillen with Mangiamo, said, "I have no issues at all for having regulations. I think it makes a lot of sense."

Gillen has operated a food truck for a year and-a-half. He's fine with the 150 foot regulation, but he's worried about being forced to move farther away.

You start looking at downtown and you're going to find there's not a whole lot of places that are 300 feet away," Gillen said.

Supporters of the proposal say the plan promotes accountability and helps protect the food truck culture in Tulsa.

Rusty Rowe owns both a food truck and a brick and mortar restaurant. He admits to seeing both sides of the issue, but doesn't have a problem with the proposed changes.

"I feel like I'm on the fence because I have both things, but I feel 300 feet isn't that big of a deal," Rowe said.

Two more food trucks courts are on the works. They'll be on Riverside at 31st Street and at 96th Street Wednesday through Sunday.

No start date has been announced.