Mobile food vendors unite against the city of South Padre Island. They argue that the city is trying to protect local restaurants, and in the process making it difficult, if not impossible for competitors. The Institute for Justice filing a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of their food truck restrictions under their ordinance.
They are looking at section 10-31 of the city code of ordinances. There is a set limit on the amount of permits issued by the city on a monthly basis and a provision asking mobile food vendors to have approval from an existing local business.
For SurfVive and Chile De Arbol food trucks it was a denial of permit because restaurant owners would not sign off on their applications.
Chile De Arbol, “We’re doing this case because we want to defend our constitutional right for economic equality and for us to make a living this way.”
SurfVive, “We would like to have a place to set up every day and have a steady business flow but right now we can’t.”
Arif Panju, Institute for Justice, “Food trucks are opening across the country, they are a great place for entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, there is some local governments that choose to stifle entrepreneurs instead of opening up their markets and getting out of the way.”
They say sections like these are causing problems for food truck vendors. They claim it’s essentially like asking your competition to approve of your business.
The city of South Padre Island was not able to comment on this issue. They say they have not been served with the lawsuit as of the making of this report.