Food truck rally / Photo: KVIA

City Reveals Results of Mobile Food Vending Outreach Efforts

On Tuesday, El Paso City Council was presented with the results of outreach efforts regarding possible revisions to the mobile food vending ordinance.

The information gathered reveals that the community supports revisions to the current ordinance that would clarify how mobile food vendors like food trucks can legally and safely operate within the City limits, while centralizing and simplifying the permitting process.

Topics discussed with the community and stakeholders during these outreach efforts include zoning restrictions, time constraints, and proximity restrictions.

Vending in Residential Areas

  • The majority (59%) of respondents thought that while food vending should be permitted in residential areas, there should be some restrictions placed on how long and/or what types of vendors are permitted in these areas.

Time Limits

  • Approximately half of the respondents felt there should not be a limit on how long a vendor can sell from one location, while the remaining half thought there should be some kind of time limit.

Vending in the Downtown Area

  • While two-thirds of respondents felt downtown vending should not be regulated differently from the rest of the City, just over one-quarter felt there should be some sort of difference (restricted zones, limited number of vendors permitted).

Distance Requirements

  • One-third of respondents felt there should be some sort of distance requirement defining how close a food vendor can locate to a brick and mortar restaurant, while two-thirds did not.

Outreach efforts also provided City staff with community and stakeholder input regarding mobile food courts. These courts are properties where multiple mobile food establishments are allowed to operate. Input received stated a need for regulations that address the items below when considering mobile food courts:

  • Restrooms
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Parking
  • Noise
  • Sanitation/Cleanliness
  • Lighting/Security
  • Fire Safety

City staff will begin to create a draft of proposed revisions that will be presented back to City Council in the coming months before returning to stakeholders and the community with those proposed revisions.