On May 17, Alexandria City Council voted 4-2 to approve a pilot program that will allow food trucks to operate in off-street locations on public and private property. The pilot program will begin on July 1, 2014, and run through December 31, 2015.
City Council adopted the pilot program ordinance after a community input process. While the initial draft of the ordinance would have also allowed food trucks to vend from public street parking spaces, the adopted pilot program is limited to off-street locations and permitted special events.
Under the approved pilot program, beginning July 1:
- Food trucks will be allowed at parks and other City property with off-street parking, subject to approval by the City Manager. There are at least 20 such locations where food trucks could operate, including four recreation centers. Operation at parks will be further subject to policies adopted by the Parks and Recreation Commission.
- Food trucks will be allowed at farmers’ markets with off-street parking, at the discretion of each market manager.
- Food trucks will be allowed on Alexandria City Public Schools property with off-street parking, subject to approval by the Superintendent of Schools.
- Food trucks will be allowed on private property (such as churches, private schools, and commercial and multi-family apartment parking lots), with the permission of the property owner. Food trucks may also serve private residential events in the same manner as caterers.
- Food trucks will be allowed at special events within the area designated in each special event permit.
- A permitted food truck may operate between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., for up to four continuous hours at a time.
Permits and Additional Regulations
- A food truck must obtain and maintain all applicable annual licenses and permits, including a business license, a food truck vending permit, a health permit, and (if applicable) a fire prevention permit.
- Permit fees for a food truck will typically total approximately $470 per year for off street vending.
- Food trucks are subject to the same food safety requirements and inspections as brick-and-mortar restaurants.
- Food trucks must comply with all existing noise and signage codes. No amplified music or other amplified sound is allowed to originate from food trucks.
- Food trucks must provide receptacles for customers’ food waste and litter.
- The pilot program ordinance gives the City Manager authority to create additional rules and regulations to implement the program, and provides penalties for food trucks that do not comply with applicable requirements.
Additional information, including application forms and other resources for prospective food truck vendors, will be available at alexandriava.gov/FoodTrucks by July 1.