Cape Coral is trying to decide on new rules for where food trucks can and can’t be set up and how owners clean up their sites daily.
The city’s planning and zoning commission voted to recommend an ordinance to the city council next Wednesday ending what the city calls “food truck-based outdoor restaurants.” Most food truck owners WINK News spoke to oppose the proposed rules, feeling they have done nothing to prompt a change in the law.
Jacinto Parra owns Paraiso Tropical Mexican Food Truck, parked at the Shell gas station off Cape Coral Parkway. He wants his customers to be comfortable while eating, so he set up tables, chairs and shade for them to use. But soon, he may have to take it all down.
“It will be very complicated because we have customers all the time,” Parra said.
Under the proposed ordinance, food trucks like Parra’s would have to leave, unable to stay parked overnight. Parra started his business three years ago and doesn’t want to move because he’s not sure where he would put everything.
“We ask them to let us keep working honestly,” Parra said.
Ozzie Morrobel, owner of Taco Works, can understand. He started with a food truck; now he’s got the truck and a permanent restaurant. While he sees both sides of the issue, he knows it would be tough for food truck owners.
“If I was in their position, I’ll be fighting to keep it the way it is, because I understand how hard it can be, so definitely I’m on their side,” Morrobel said. “Because they need to make money and want to keep operating their businesses as normal.”
Cape Coral will hold two public hearings before the city council vote. The new proposal also has a provision to explore the possibility of creating a food truck park that would serve as long-term accommodation for food trucks.