Food Truck Owners Sue City Over Rule About Operating Within 300 Feet Of Restaurants

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A football field is 300 feet long, and under Baltimore law, that’s the exact distance food trucks must stay away from brick and mortar restaurants, if both serve the same kind of food.

“It effects how much money I can bring in. It effects the options I have to operate around the City,” said Joey Vanoni of Pizza Di Joey.

Vanoni was out of his pizza food truck and with his lawyers, because he can’t park closer than 300 feet to any restaurant that also sells pizza.

“They’re trying to protect that brick and mortar business from its most direct competitor. That’s simply unconstitutional,” said Institute for Justice lawyer Greg Reed.

Vanoni and another food truck vendor are suing the City, so a judge can throw out the 300 foot rule and open up all of Baltimore.

“This is a textbook case of economic favoritism,” Reed said.

The City’s lawyer declined to go on camera, but argued there is no proof the law discriminates.

The lawyer claims all food trucks are treated equally, that those suing offer no proof of actual financial harm, and that they haven’t been fined or penalized. But then vendors aren’t punished if they obey the 300 foot rule.

“I would love to operate in Federal Hill, Fells Point, Harbor East, Hampden areas. These are thriving economic areas of Baltimore City, and I would love to operate in those areas, except due to this law, I can’t,” Vanoni said.

The judge is expected to rule on the law within the next few days.

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