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Council approves taco truck restrictions, curfew

Despite a year of appeals to the City Council, taco trucks will not be allowed to stay open past 9 p.m. in Charlotte. The council vote was unanimous in support of keeping the 9 p.m. curfew for the trucks and requiring them to stay 400 feet from each other and residential areas. Councilman John Lassiter cited the need to balance the concerns of truck owners and residents who complain about their noise and mess. "In that kind of a balance, I kind of default to the neighbors," said Lassiter. "We've got to take their issues into account, especially in areas we have a lot of effort to make those corridors more viable." City Council members say the new rule is a good compromise because it also allows mobile food vendors to stay longer in one location and pay fewer fees. But taco truck owners say the 400 foot rule and the 9 p.m. curfew will eventually force them out of business. They also believe it's discrimination because it doesn't apply to hot dog carts uptown or outside home improvement stores. A community organizer for the taco truck owners says they hope to challenge the ordinance in court.