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Action on food trucks postponed

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Action on a plan to ease restrictions on food trucks was postponed at Monday's Evanston Human Services Committee meeting after representatives of local businesses said they'd not had time to study the proposal.

Dan Kelch, an owner of the LuLu's and Taco Diablo restaurants now under construction on Davis Street, said, "I'm not saying we're for or against the proposal. We just want to have a discussion and appreciate your holding it."

Elaine Kemna-Irish, executive director of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, said she wanted time to gather input from the business community.

Aldermen Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, was joined by Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, in moving to have the issue held until the committee's next meeting, now scheduled for April 4.

The rewrite of the ordinance, drafted by Corporation Counsel Grant Farrar, would remove a provision limiting food truck licenses to people who already own restaurants in the city. News of the proposal was first reported by Evanston Now Monday morning.

Food trucks were initially permitted in Evanston in 2010 at the request of the owners of two local restaurants who wanted to also operate a food truck.

The provision restricting food truck licenses to restaurant owners was included in the ordinance in response to concerns voiced by other restaurant owners about a possible adverse impact on their businesses from food trucks and based on the argument that restaurants are more beneficial to the city because they pay property taxes on their buildings.

But the food truck that prompted the ordinance is no longer operating here and no other local restaurant owners have tried the concept.

The city is also being sued by owners of a Chicago-based food truck, Beavers Coffee and Donuts, who are seeking a permit to operate here.

Related story

City may ease food truck restrictions (3/7/16)

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