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City Council Considers Food Cart Without The Wheels

Charlotte City Council will consider a plea tonight to change the definition of a street cart. Think food and mobility without the wheels. David Campbell of Boxman Studios has a motto for his design: Eat outside the box. The box he refers to is a recycled cargo box that would house a kitchen and serve up gourmet food. The idea is every day a truck would drop it off at a new location to serve the lunch crowd. Later in the day, a truck would pick it up and take it to a storage area. Campbell even has a chef ready to cook the food. He just doesn't have the city's permission. Thirteen months ago he thought he read all the rules that guide what the city calls mobile food vendors, but it turns out he missed a pretty important one. The unit has to be a vehicle licensed by the DMV. "But as soon as we offload it from our truck it's not a licensed vehicle. So what we're trying to do is say, 'It's still mobile to us. We pick it up and move it everyday and whether it's on the truck or off the truck is really semantics,'" says Campbell. Campbell plans to ask city council tonight to expand the definition of a mobile food unit to allow his lunchbox to operate. Some northeast Charlotte residents who object to the change also plan to speak. Jack Brosch with the Derita-Statesville Road Community Organization says he likes the idea of Campbell's lunchbox, but worries expanding the definition would allow just about anything to operate as a food cart.