Lancaster looking into expanding food truck regulations

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More and more food vendor trucks are popping up all over the city of Lancaster, so one city official is working on updating city laws on these trucks and where and when they can operate.

Fresh off of a successful appearance on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, husband and wife team Jeff and Emily Mitchell are the newest members of Lancaster’s growing food truck scene.

The Mitchells launched their Lancaster Cupcake truck on Valentine’s Day.

“It’s just a really big hit and people love it and we’re going to keep it going,” Jeff Mitchell said.

The popularity of these trucks and eating on the go is something the city of Lancaster definitely recognizes.

Randy Patterson, Lancaster’s economic development director, is working on updating the current laws regulating food trucks and carts.

“It is an ongoing and growing industry, one that we’re trying to accommodate,” he said.

One of the major things that needs to be worked out is that the food trucks want to be downtown, where all of the foot traffic is. But parking is a premium. A space across from Binn’s Park is being considered as a possible food truck hub.

“It’s kind of an interesting conversation with restauranteurs. Some are quite in favor of it, as growing the food industry here and what’s available to people and others are a little tenuous about the potential competition it could create,” Patterson said.

Patterson is looking into restricting how close the trucks can be to restaurants, and concerns about litter and generator noise.

Mitchell said in his experience, food trucks actually help to bring in business to the city, from curious foodies looking to try something new.

“The food truck experience, people will come from out-of-town to try and find it,” Mitchell said. “And they visit new stores that are in front there, and people that may not come into Lancaster city that often are coming in.”

Patterson is hoping to finish drafting his updated ordinance by next month, so the city council can consider it.

He’d like for the new regulations to be in place before the summer.

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