Food trucks get to keep their stomping grounds in Raleigh, after all.
The Raleigh City Council late Tuesday voted to allow food trucks to continue operating in certain areas they would have been kicked out of under development zones proposed as part of the city’s remapping effort.
The city is in the process of applying new development zones to about a third of Raleigh, or 35,000 properties. The process is known as a remapping.
The effort would have increased the total food truck operating area in Raleigh from 23,300 acres to nearly 27,300 acres even before Tuesday’s vote.
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But one proposed zone known as “NX” would have prohibited them in some areas where they’re currently allowed, such as portions of West Peace Street, North Person Street, Five Points and Brier Creek in northwest Raleigh.
Nearly 2,000 people petitioned the council to allow food trucks in the NX district, and three dozen people in matching green shirts filled the council chambers Tuesday to lobby the City Council during its night meeting.
They stood to show support for the first speaker, Alex Johnson, who said the NX zone, as written, would disappoint neighborhoods that currently enjoy the trucks and truck operators who want to serve them and keep their business models intact.
“All we’re going to do is curtail their ability to operate freely,” said Johnson, director for the North Carolina chapter of Generation Opportunity, a nonprofit group that advocates for young people.
The council approved a motion by councilman Bonner Gaylord to include food trucks in NX zones immediately after Johnson’s comments and before other advocates could speak.
“Generally, NX seems to make sense” for the trucks, Gaylord said.
The people in green shirts stood and applauded the council.
Council members, with their vote, re-opened the door for food trucks to expand their businesses, said Jessica McCarthy, co-owner of The Humble Pig.
“One location, visited once a week for one year, creates one job,” she told the council.
Council members said they would also consider loosening other food truck regulations and launching pilot programs.
“Thank you for your hard work for this city,” Councilman Wayne Maiorano told food truck operators. “You do very hard work.”