STATE COLLEGE — To address the increasing popularity of food trucks across the country as they sell tacos and gyros in New York and compete on TV on The Great Food Truck Race the borough created a new ordinance regulating their operations.
While the policy doesnt prohibit them completely, there arent many places in the borough that staff said is appropriate for them to park.
Borough Council unanimously approved the new regulations Monday night.
They mainly would be allowed to operate on private property, such as in the Garner Street private parking lot or the Balfurd Cleaners parking lot at West Beaver Avenue and South Atherton Street. They also could operate during the farmers market on Locust Lane.
The ordinance prohibits the trucks from blocking streets and sidewalks or parking at meters or in the boroughs garages.
Borough inspections supervisor Kevin Kassab said he did a lot of research into cities that allow food trucks, and many that are larger than State College require food trucks operate a certain distance from existing restaurants.
Logistically, we just dont have the space, he said. Pretty much anywhere would be in front of a brick-and-mortar establishment.
Not that staff or officials want to completely dissuade the trucks.
I think its a cool idea, Kassab said, adding that potential problems led to tighter borough regulations.
One of those has come up when truck operators occasionally call State College to inquire about locating here. Kassab said they want to focus on the fraternity districts after bar hours.
That was why staff thought we needed to put something into place to protect the neighborhoods, Kassab said. We really wanted to try to make it work so we did the best we could with what we have.
One of the new truck regulations allows operation between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Councilman Peter Morris said he was a little disturbed by the fraternity information, but said the 10 p.m. cap should address that issue.
I think they would be nice and add to the quality of life, Morris said of the trucks. My guess is that itll never be a big deal here.
No food trucks operate in the borough, and food stands or carts are regulated separately. The new ordinance offers exemptions for truck operation related to borough, State College Area School District, Downtown Improvement District, Penn State and Centre Region Parks and Recreation activities.
Jessica VanderKolk can be reached at 235-3910. Follow her on Twitter @jVanReporter