Baltimore’s 300-foot rule is under fire, as food truck owners have their say in a Baltimore City Circuit Court last week. Under the rule, food trucks are not permitted to operate within 300 feet of brick-and-mortar restaurant with similar menu options and in some neighborhoods, including Federal Hill, Fells Point, Harbor East and Hampden.
On July 26, attorneys representing the city and lawyers for food truck owners Nikki Marks, of MindGrub, and Joey Vanoni, of Pizza Di Joey, appeared in court to request a summary judgment on a 2016 case. A motion was also filed to dismiss testimony of economist Anirban Basu, Baltimore City’s expert witness.
The Institute for Justice filed a lawsuit on behalf of Baltimore food vendors in May 2016, alleging the 300-food ban is unconstitutional. Violators face a $500 fine with the potential of having their vendor’s license revoked.
Judge Yolana Tanner is expected to hand down decisions at a pre-trial hearing scheduled for August 18. If the motions are dismissed the case will go to trial.
In a statement, Institute for Justice Attorney Greg Reed said customers should decide where they want to buy their lunch, not the government.