Food truck owners fight proposed ordinance

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POSTED: Monday, April 9, 2012 - 6:10pm

UPDATED: Monday, April 9, 2012 - 6:11pm

Pat Fellows' Fresh Junkie food truck is one of more than a dozen rolling restaurants that feed hungry Baton Rouge residents on the go daily.

"The food truck atmosphere that we have in Baton Rouge is really great," he says.

However, he feels like that atmosphere might be at risk. That's because Metro Council member, Smokie Bourgeois announced his plan to push ordinaces that force food truck owners to get signed permission to set up shop on private property. He says that's so business owners don't get sued if someone gets hurt on their property while buying from a food truck.

Fellows says most food truck owners already get permission from businesses if they park on their property.

"We're a little worried that if something's being pushed through that's as redundant as this, what happens if there's something else they take issue with?" Fellows says. "If it becomes more and more difficult to do business, it has everybody a little uneasy."

He's not the only vendor upset over the proposed laws.

"It's a shame," says Brian with All Star Catering. "I can't believe our Metro Council is focusing on something like this instead of bigger issues. They need to grow up."

Brian says the food truck owners are young entrepreneurs trying to make it in a tough economy, and they do what they're supposed to be doing.

"It's a slap in the face to those of us who have worked hard to get these businesses started," he says.

Now, there's a petition to stop this ordinance from passing. It's circulating on the social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter. Already, it's gotten 500 signatures.

"There are a lot of people passionate about food trucks in this town," Fellows says. "They don't want to see them regulated. They realize the work that's gone into it and they flat out enjoy the product."

Fellows hopes that will be enough to stop the law from passing. "We just want to keep making sure it's easy for us to do it."

Lot of food trucks are gathering together at Tin Roof Brewery Tuesday night to rally support. That's happening from 5 to 9.

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