Food truck fad in New Haven to get regulations to ensure safety and cleanliness

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NEW HAVEN--These days, everywhere you look in New Haven there's a food truck.

"Long Wharf, which is otherwise known sometimes as the 'food truck paradise' -- (is) Cedar Street, in front of the hospital, Sachem Street in front of Ingalls Rink, and Downtown,” Steve Fontana, the city’s Economic Development director, said.

You'd city leaders like Fontana would be thrilled that the food meccas are growing and business is booming, but there's a problem: the city hasn’t kept up. But while doing research for mobile food truck ordinance revisions it was discovered that rules for food trucks and carts hadn’t been updated in 15 years!

Now the city is making changes to the rules and addressing everything from increased fees, to complaints, to noise ordinances and carts being to close to each other.

“We want to have a system that basically balances off all of the interests in our community,” Fontana said.

How outdated are some of the rules? Well, outside the Yale whale, where there's a lot of activity with the mobile food trucks, it turns out this parking lot isn’t even zoned for food truck activity.

Once construction across the street moves on so will the food trucks, but just around the corner to a new home that will be properly zoned.

“What we think is we can accommodate everyone who is there now, plus a few additional out here in a place where people can do it in a public fashion," Fontana said.

Right now there's a waiting list of over 30 carts for the area. But new spaces will come in time, and all of it will generate new tax revenue.

If the ordinances are passed the city will implement them by January and start allowing more food trucks then.

"We just want to make sure it's done safely, cleanly and legally," Fontana added.