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Comment period on vending regulations ends: Businesses, including restaurants, raise serious and sub

February 29, 2012
Comment period onvending regulations ends: Businesses, including restaurants, raise serious andsubstantive concerns about proposed regulations
WASHINGTON, DC (March 1,2012) – Today marked the end of a nearly 6 week period during which theDepartment of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) accepted commentsconcerning proposed regulations to govern vending, including food trucks, inthe District of Columbia. Over 70 restaurant operators employing over 6,500area residents expressed concerns about the proposed regulations, principallyabout a provision that allows food trucks to operate, from any legal parkingspace, without regard for their impacts on other uses of public space.
RAMW was joined by many ofthe leading business organizations in the District of Columbia in expressingconcerns about the proposed regulations, incuding the Apartment and OfficeBuilding Association, DC Building Industry Association, DC Chamber of Commerce,the Hotel Association of Washington, DC. In addition, the DC Council of BIDS,the umbrella organization for all of the Business Improvement Districts in theDistrict of Columbia expressed concerns about the proposed regulations, amongothers.
Although advocates for foodtrucks have repeatedly trumpeted the pure number of emails to DCRA expressing“support for food trucks”, in many cases the comments are meaningless as theydo not address substantive aspects of the regulations. In addition, it isapparent that many of the comments were driven by an online portal, at whichpeople from all over the country, in fact, all over the world, were urged toweigh in on vending regulations in the District. That effort led to commentsfrom many states including Oregon, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, New York and suchfaraway places as Korea, Germany, the Netherlands, France, and from some whoappear to be full time petitionsigners.
While new regulations areneeded to advance the District's efforts to make its streets and sidewalks avibrant place of business with dynamic food options, DCRA needs go back to thedrawing board and develop regulations with an eye to a fair use of public spaceand offer a reasonable outcome for all.
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