City Council OK's food truck ordinance

Posted at 6:15 PM, Nov 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 19:15:08-04
After debates and delays, food trucks are on their way to becoming part of the fabric of Omaha's restaurant scene.
Reporter Joe Cadotte has the latest. City Council unanimously voted this afternoon rules and regulations that clearly define when and where food trucks can operate in the city.
Food trucks will be allowed to operate from 6 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. as long as they are at least 50 feet from restaurants. They'll also have to pay a $100 annual fee and an extra $100 if they want to operate downtown. "Food trucks are great for our quality of life and the fabric we have not just downtown but in some of our neighborhood business districts across the city" said City Councilman Pete Festersen. Festersen was a key part of getting the city behind legalizing food trucks in Omaha. He had originally voted down earlier proposed regulations. "Today we're finally striking the right balance with amendments we're working on with urban districts, restaurant 
representatives that will strike that right balance for food trucks to be part of our urban fabric."
Omaha Food Truck Association President Kelly Keegan says today is a huge step for food trucks in the city. "It's going to enhance it for everyone. You're going to have more options for customers, more options for citizens 
and really open up this town to look more cosmopolitan like you see in Chicago, Portland or San Antonio." Before today's rules, they could only operate in certain places and for a four hour duration. "We'll see more people doing business now that it's legal. For me personally, our Chicago Dog House has stayed away from that nighttime crowd because it was technically illegal."
Food truck operators will continue to pay for metered parking. These rules can be changed in certain neighborhoods and will be under full review in a year.