Monday, July 15, 2024

Food truck owners vindicated, can operate in Carolina Beach, for now

The food truck owners haven't yet dropped their lawsuit, but are optimistic about the chance to serve the people of Carolina Beach.

Three different food truck owners have filed a suit against the Town of Carolina Beach (Port City Daily/Mark Darrough)
Three different food truck owners have filed a suit against the Town of Carolina Beach (Port City Daily/Mark Darrough)

CAROLINA BEACH — Only one week after filing a lawsuit against the Town of Carolina Beach’s Town Council for an overly restrictive food truck ordinance, food truck owners are again able to operate in the town without fear of being run off by police.

After a town workshop on Tuesday evening, Town Council decided to revise the town’s ordinance to remove a requirement food truck owners deemed unconstitutional — the requirement that trucks operating in the city must have a brick and mortar location in town limits.

Last week several food truck owners including Michelle Rock of T’Geaux Boys, Aaron and Monica Cannon of A&M’s Red Food Truck, and Harley Bruce of Poor Piggies filed the lawsuit against the town. The national law firm Institute for Justice represented the plaintiffs pro bono.

While the town has removed the part of the ordinance that was deemed unconstitutional, Managing Attorney Justin Pearson said they will not yet drop the lawsuit. The town has agreed to revisit the ordinance in the upcoming months and hold additional public hearings. The Institute for Justice will not drop the suit until the final ordinance is approved without the restrictions.

“We just have to see what they do. Hopefully, they continue to do the right thing, we will keep the lawsuit going until it is final,” Pearson said.

The removal of the restrictions is a win for the food truck owners, and they believe that the new rules will make things more equitable.

“Basically, for myself, and for everybody, not just for Harley (Bruce) and Aaron and Monica (Cannon), it makes things more open, since the town decided to do away with the brick and mortar requirement which is what we felt was illegal,” Michelle Rock said. “Basically, this just lets the people have what they want, If the people want food trucks, we’ll go food trucking…”

Food trucks on Pleasure Island are nothing new since they are able to operate in Kure Beach and Fort Fisher.

“We never had problems at Kure Beach and Fort Fisher, and since the ordinance was passed there was just a lot of uncertainty,” Rock said.

The Town Council will likely readdress the issue at its October meeting.

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