Municipography, Food Trucks Approved in Downtown Raleigh

Municipography is a summary of current issues going through the Raleigh City Council and other municipal departments in the city. The point is to try to deliver any video, photos, and text associated with the discussions happening at City Hall or elsewhere. Since this is a downtown Raleigh blog, the focus is on the center of the city.

Food Trucks Approved With A 6-2 Vote

The Raleigh City Council has now approved the operation of food trucks in the city with a list of restrictions. Councilor Mary-Ann Baldwin presented the issue as it left last week’s Law and Public Safety Committee but proposing an amendment to change the 1am time limit back to 3am. The reasoning was to be more consistent with the push carts that currently are allowed to sell food until 3am. A list of some of the major rules are:

  • Food trucks are allowed on private property only, no public right of way unless it’s a special event.
  • A 10pm time limit is in effect when around residential areas.
  • A food truck maximum is three per one acre lot or larger. It’s less with smaller lots.
  • A lot permit ($74) and a food truck permit ($150) must be obtained from the lot owner and food truck owner each year.
  • Ordinance goes into effect on October 1st, 2011 to allow time to create a manual for those seeking the permits.

Councilor Baldwin also proposed that at six months, a report be presented to the council about how the food trucks are doing in the city, any violations and/or any enforcement issues. Councilor Eugene Weeks and Councilor Russ Stephenson spoke up supporting the changes and the six month report.

The strongest opponent to the food trucks was Councilor John Odom, speaking up with an apprehensive tone and claiming that, “I think we’re moving to fast.” He even brought a slight reaction from the crowd after ending his talk with, “I’m not looking forward to being like Durham I’ll tell you that.” (12:32 in the video above)

Outside of the obvious inappropriate and incorrect comment from Councilor Odom, (embarrassing) I’m glad we are moving forward on the food truck issue as we can now put this behind us. I’m still worried about the handling of this issue and some members of the council may not be ready when true innovative ideas present themselves in Raleigh. Will Raleigh welcome innovation or strangle it with restrictions? This topic may be looked at further in a future blog post.

Similar Posts:


Comments are disabled here. That's because we're all hanging out on the DTRaleigh Community, an online forum for passionate fans of the Oak City.


  1. Odom’s comments are sadly not surprising coming from a right-wing Republican…they tend to view Durham as one of those nasty diverse “librul” places. Sigh. I’m just afraid that if Redmond wins the mayor race, along with Paul Fitts for the at-large council race, they’ll have a block of anti-urban conservatives that will set Raleigh back quite a bit.

    Now that this food truck thing is over, I’m hoping the local press & blogs will focus some more on what’s really important: the upcoming election. Because unless we want these anti-urban voices to take over the council, we need to get out the vote this October.

  2. I just sent an email to the Fitts campaign asking where he stands on this issue. His website isn’t very helpful at all in explaining his vision for downtown.

  3. RaleighRob

    I agree (this is a major reason why there need to be term minimums, Odom just needs to go away, he has ALWAYS been a road block, way back to the Fetzer days)

    Urban growth is critical to Raleigh’s present and future success (Raleigh wake up, build up, not out)

  4. I agree with RaleighRob that we need to shift the focus to other important topics, like asking Mayoral and Council candidates what’s happening with the completion of the new Wake County public transit plan. If we hope to get a transit funding referendum on the ballot in 2012, Wake needs to get the plan done.

  5. His comments about Durham were accurate. Downtown Raleigh has people living there and thriving businesses. Downtown Durham is mostly vacant. Not that I think that food trucks matter one way or the other, but I think that not wanting to make Raleigh look like Durham is a perfectly valid statement, and I agree with it wholeheartedly.

  6. ^Totally disagree, Joe. There are some things dt Raleigh does better, there are some things dt Durham does better. I’ve never been to either on a Fri or Sat night and thought either was “vacant” by no means.

    We’ve got a little more housing, but most of it is high dollar condos that normal people can’t afford. At least Durham has done better addressing that. And between DPAC, the Carolina Theatre, American Tobacco complex, the new bus & rail stations, Central Park, and a new cooperative market starting up, they’ve got the foundation set to really boom the next time the economy turns around.

    Whether you prefer downtown Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill, at least you see that each builds on each other, and has something to contribute. If Odom had his way, we’d probably be like Cary instead. *Shivver*

  7. Well, I have to disagree on the Cary bashing. I lived in Cary and now Morrisville. I like what they are, but I also like the option to go other places that are different, like Durham and Raleigh, which the central location makes it easy to do. I would love to live in a downtown loft type apartment, but my life and the way this area is set up just won’t allow that right now.

    I guess the key is having different areas with their own feeling, that way everyone can be happy. So, I suppose Raleigh should not be like Cary or Durham or any other place, just a better, realistic, constantly improving version of itself, responsive to its residents and business owners (and food trucks are business) needs, rather than letting a few dictate crazy terms for everyone else.

    Plus, Cary never banned Food Trucks. :-p

Comments are closed.