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Food Truck Parking Would be Limited Under Proposed Vending Legislation

By Andrea Swalec | March 20, 2013 2:51pm

MANHATTAN — A month after City Councilwoman Margaret Chin supported the shutdown of 20 SoHo food vendors, she's set to introduce legislation Wednesday to limit where food trucks can park citywide.

Chin's bill would make it illegal for food trucks to set up shop within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, an issue residents say they have pointed out to officials for years as a potential safety hazard.

Chin said she wants to minimize the effect of food vendors on public safety and quality of life, as the trucks produce noise and emit fumes.

"It is imperative that we update and strengthen regulations as mobile food trucks become more prevalent in our city," Chin said in a statement.

The proposed law would fine vendors $250 the first time they are caught parking too close to a fire hydrant. If caught a second time within six months, the offending food truck would be impounded and the vendor hit with a $500 ticket.

The plan to impose new fines related to vending follows the Feb. 27 passage of new legislation by the City Council to slash vending fines in half, in order reduce their burden on often-struggling workers.

But Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed to veto the bill, which he slammed as "one of the stupider things I've ever heard." He argued it would encourage vendors to break the rules.

The law suggested by Chin would take effect 120 days after it is enacted.