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New Orleans, La. -
Less than two weeks after it passed, Mayor Mitch Landrieu vetoes the city's food truck ordinance, questioning its legality. Some food truck owners see the move as a blow to their business.
Eric Thread owns Foodie Call, a food truck that he drives around the city. Thread says the business can be a tough one. So two weeks ago, when the city passed an ordinance easing some restrictions on food truck vendors, he says he and many others were thrilled.
That excitement changed after Thread learned of Mayor Landrieu's veto Wednesday.
"It's frustrating, it really is, because we've been working on it for so long, over a year now, to see if we could get a few laws passed... little things here and there," said Thread.
The ordinance allows for 75 additional permits to be given to food truck vendors, allows trucks to park in one location for up to four hours, and also reduces the distance a truck has to be from a restaurant, going from 600 feet down to 200.
Many embraced the ordinance, including the owner of High Hat Cafe, Chip Apperson. He says there's only one thing he would change, explaining, "If someone were to pull a food truck across the street from us and start selling tamales and fried catfish and things that we do here, that probably wouldn't be appropriate and there needs to be a way to protest that."
But that's not an issue Mayor Landrieu raised in his veto. A letter explaining his veto says the city attorney brought up concerns about the legality of the ordinance.
According to our partners at The Lens, City Council President Stacy Head believes the administration is worried that itinerant vendors who aren't addressed under this particular ordinance could sue the city, arguing they'd be unfairly impacted. Head also says that the mayor wants food trucks banned from residential parking zones, not just in front of residential properties.
Head says this all came as a surprise to her because she reached out to the Landrieu administration multiple times while drafting the ordinance, but the administration never once expressed a concern.
Now, Eric Thread says the waiting game begins again. "We really thought this was the end of it, for now at least and it didn't go anywhere. It's just right back where it was," said Thread.
Mayor Landrieu says he's directed his staff to work with the council to immediately address this issue and develop changes that will result in laws that are legal, fair and enforceable.
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