Baltimore Judge to decide fate of food vendor ordinance

Baltimore Judge to decide fate of food vendor ordinance

BALTIMORE, Md. WBFF) -- The fate of a Baltimore City ordinance restricting where food trucks can locate is now in the hands of a judge.

Closing arguments in the lawsuit filed by two food truck owners took place Friday in Baltimore City Circuit Court.

Joey Vanoni, who operates Pizza di Joey, says the ordinance has severely restricted where he can park his food truck because

the current law prohibits food vendors from operating within 300 feet from any conventional restaurant which sells the same type of food.

"I sell pizza. If I sold bar-b-que or tacos, I could park closer to a pizzeria. It's clearly discriminatory and it's un-American."

Nikki McGowan, who owns Mindgrub Cafe, another food truck, says the law gives conventional restaurants a huge advantage economically.

"They (restaurant owners) can call the police and say hey this truck is outside, they serve soup, we serve soup, they serve salads, we serve salads and then I can be asked to leave, given a citation or I could lose my license," says McGowan.

But during closing arguments, attorneys for Baltimore City say the food vendors who filed suit have not proven the ordinance has caused them economic hardship.

Giovanna Blatterman, whose family owns Cafe Gia in Baltimore's Little Italy, says the current ordinance should remain on the books.

"We want a level playing field, we want you to pay your real estate taxes, we want you to pay what we pay," says Blatterman.

Attorneys say Circuit Judge Karen Friedman is expected to announce her decision in the food vendor case in the next few weeks.

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