Gray Proposes Updating Vending Regulations

1/20/2012, 12:20 p.m.

Proposal Updates 30-Year Old Regulations, Encourages Entrepreneurship, Ensures More Consumer Choice and Creates New Opportunities for Small Businesses and Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Mayor Vincent C. Gray has proposed new regulations that update the 30-year-old rules governing street vending - including food trucks - in the District of Columbia.

The proposed regulations, issued by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), would open up additional locations for sidewalk vending, reflect new design standards for vending carts and update a rule originally designed for ice-cream trucks that currently exposes some of the newer food trucks that operate in the District to potential citations.

"Street vending, food trucks and farmers' markets are important components in increasing the District's quality of life for residents, workers and visitors, and my new regulations are designed to strike a careful balance between encouraging business innovation and respecting our laws as well as brick-and-mortar businesses that have long played according to the rules," said Gray. "These proposed regulations eliminate outdated requirements, make it easier for the smallest of entrepreneurs to set up a business here and expand the food options available to consumers."

Among other improvements, the new regulations would: * update the outdated "ice-cream-truck rule" that has led to food trucks being cited and fined for having no customers in line even though they were obeying other laws. In addition, trucks preparing and selling food would have to park in a legal spot, pay the meter and can remain there for as long as allowed by the meter or posted parking rules.

"Street vending plays an important role in maintaining vibrant and active public spaces, as well as allowing entrepreneurs to start a new business," said DCRA Director Nicholas Majett. "Many of today's street-vending entrepreneurs will become tomorrow's bricks-and-mortar entrepreneurs."

The proposed regulations are being published in the D.C. Register on Jan. 20 and will be open for a 30-day public-comment period. The final regulations will require approval by the D.C. Council.