Chicago Food Truck Ordinance Debate Heads to Supreme Court - NBC Chicago

Chicago Food Truck Ordinance Debate Heads to Supreme Court

"When we looked at cities like New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., they don’t have these kinds of rules," said Senior Attorney Robert Frommer

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    Food Truck Ordinance Debate Heads to Supreme Court

    A city ordinance regulating where food trucks can set up in Chicago is heading all the way to the Supreme Court. NBC 5's Anayeli Ruiz reports. 

    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019)

    Have you noticed that Chicago hasn't had many food trucks roaming around lately? That’s because a city ordinance limits where certain food trucks can park, and some say this is driving many entrepreneurs out of town.

    The Supreme Court of Illinois however, will have a chance to weigh in on this case.

    "The bread and butter of my business when I first started was to develop a route in Downtown Chicago," said former food truck owner of 'Cupcakes for Courage, Laura Pekarik.

    She said she had to stop running her truck after the city passed a new ordinance that made it nearly impossible for her to run her business--The city had banned food trucks from parking within 200 feet of a restaurant or other business that serves food.

    "I already had a route developed with my customers and they expected me in certain locations," she said. "All of a sudden I wasn’t able to go there anymore."

    The city also required food truck owners' businesses to have a GPS tracking device.

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    "When we looked at cities like New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., they don’t have these kinds of rules," said Senior Attorney Robert Frommer.

    According to the Institute of Justice, in 2012 about 120 food trucks served the Windy City--now, there are roughly 70 in business. 

    "Throughout the country, food trucks have grown; but here, in Chicago, the number of food trucks has gone down by 40 percent in the past 6 years," said Frommer. "It has crushed the industry."

    The Illinois Supreme Court is set to take a look at the case next Wednesday.

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