Alexandria Revisits Food Truck Ordinance: Could Later Hours be on the Menu?

The Alexandria City Council is revisiting a decade-old ordinance that governs the operation of food trucks within city limits. The current regulations, implemented in 2014, have come under fire from food truck owners like Shihan Chowdury, who feels the 8 pm curfew unfairly limits their ability to serve customers.

Chowdury's Frustration Fuels Change

"The 8 pm rule is a major hurdle," Chowdury told WUSA9. "Many people don't get off work until 10 pm, and their only option for a hot meal is fast food." Chowdury's concerns resonated with Mayor Justin Wilson, who brought the issue before the City Council.

A Balancing Act: Food Trucks vs. Brick-and-Mortar

The 2014 ordinance was born out of compromise. While some brick-and-mortar restaurants embraced the idea of food trucks, concerns existed around potential impacts on public safety and competition.

"There was a worry that food trucks would park right in front of restaurants," explained Mayor Wilson. The original ordinance addressed these concerns by limiting vending locations.

Winds of Change: Council Members Open to Revision

Despite past apprehension, the City Council appears receptive to change. Councilmember Canek Aguirre, a Los Angeles transplant, expressed his belief that Alexandria's ordinance is "a little too restrictive." Councilmember Krik McPike echoed this sentiment, voicing support for loosening regulations.

Testing the Waters: A Trial Period for Later Hours?

Councilmember John Taylor Chapman proposed a test period for revised regulations. "This is a great opportunity to see if extending hours benefits both businesses and the city without creating unforeseen problems," Chapman stated.

Public Input on the Horizon

The Mayor has announced a public comment session scheduled for May 18th. This will allow residents, food truck owners, and restaurant representatives to voice their opinions on the proposed changes.

The Alexandria City Council's willingness to revisit the food truck ordinance signifies a potential shift towards a more vibrant and diverse culinary scene. Whether later hours become a reality remains to be seen, but the upcoming public forum promises a lively discussion on the future of food trucks in Alexandria.

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