Burien restaurant owners ask city to halt food truck pilot program, citing unfair competition

The Burien Town Council passed a resolution to pilot a food items truck plan in the city on Monday even with about 50 brick-and-mortar restaurant owners signaling their opposition.

The resolution, which passed with a 5-2 vote, would make it possible for food items vehicles to operate in the city limits for a single calendar year. Nevertheless, the trucks would not be equipped to park within 50 toes of an current cafe devoid of the enterprise owner’s authorization.

That raised considerations for the city’s cafe homeowners who are fearful that out-of-city food vehicles will build much more competitiveness with their companies that are presently struggling amid the financial downturn of the COVID-19 pandemic and limited dining choices.


The homeowners, who united beneath the Latino advocacy group Empresarios Unidos, claimed that not only did the council are unsuccessful to check with with them, but also that the pilot is unfair as vehicles are not needed to pay back fees these as house taxes, house leases and utility payments.

“It is tricky and disappointing to witness how tone deaf the council greater part is to our fears,” claimed Alfredo Covarrubias, President of Empresarios Unidos. “What tends to make this primarily offensive is that they have zero knowledge operating a restaurant through a catastrophic pandemic. We ended up remaining out of the process completely for months simply because we never issue to them.”

Empresarios Unidos stated that they do not oppose meals trucks, but preferred “the policies of the street be the very same for equally preset and cell food items establishments.”

In the petition, the homeowners requested the council to create a lot more guidelines for the software, this sort of as necessitating that food stuff trucks do not operate within a mile of brick-and-mortar establishments or be only permitted to run in selected food items truck zones.

Some who spoke during the council’s general public comment claimed that the foods vehicles could damage BIPOC-owned eating places in the local community.

“Brick and mortar places to eat are a key share of our Latino local community [in Burien],” mentioned David Cruz, a member of the Latino Organization Affiliation.  “We know that they stand for income but they also characterize work development in the group. And appropriate now there is a major concern that foods trucks being authorized into the town, devoid of distinct suggestions, is likely to have an influence on them.”

Burien restaurant owners ask city to halt food truck pilot program

Burien cafe proprietors question metropolis to halt food items truck pilot plan

kostsov/Getty Photographs/iStockphoto

Councilmember Kevin Schilling, who voted for the method, claimed that there have been alternatives for “amazing creativity” from current corporations and that enterprises could launch their individual meals vans or lover with other people.

“You can find no promise we are going to be swamped with foodstuff vehicles. I will not imagine that a few food trucks in the downtown corridor in within just a calendar year is heading to be substantially of an impression, if not any impact,” Schilling said. “There is way a lot more constructive features to what can be carried out here than damaging features to it.”

Other council members said that the needs of the restaurant entrepreneurs have been unreasonable.

“Asking us to zone foods vehicles a mile away from any present restaurant, effectively would zone them out of our city,” claimed Councilmember Cydney Moore. “We would not deny any individual a company license to open up a restaurant just simply because other dining establishments on that blocks did not want the competition and I dint think it really is correct for us to discriminate in opposition to little company owners just for the reason that they are cell by using food stuff truck.”

The approach of the pilot that was authorised will have to have the town to reach out to cafe entrepreneurs relating to the new pilot and report back to the council on problems on April 5.



Barbara J. Miriam

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