BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In 2017, Joey Vanoni, a food truck owner, went to circuit court to challenge a city law that regulates where food trucks could do business.
The law, known as the 300-foot rule, forced Vanoni and other food truck owners to stay a football field’s length away from restaurants.
“It absolutely impacted me,” Vanoni said. “I was prohibited from operating in swaths of the city.”
But in 2017, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Karen C. Friedman ruled that the 300-foot rule was vague and unenforceable, a major victory for Vanoni.
Last March, Vanoni’s lawyers went to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals to have a higher court affirm the lower courts ruling.
“The 300-foot rule is nothing more than abject protectionism,” Robert Frommer, Vanoni’s lawyer, said. “The government using its power to hobble one business owner to economically benefit another.”
The city says the rule was to protect investments made in the city that generate jobs and taxes.
“That will be undercut if there’s not an effort to level the playing field between the low-cost mobile markets in the form of food trucks and those who are stationary,” Andre Davis, a Baltimore City Solicitor, said.
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals will decide legal arguments later.
For now, Vanoni and other food truck owners will continue selling their product.
“For the most part, we have a lot more flexibility in our freedom to operate throughout Baltimore City,” Vanoni said.