Lenora Crawford and her husband opened their food truck, “Touch of Philly,” to bring Philadelphia’s famous Philly cheesesteaks to central Florida. Lenora and others, like Gloribel Zamora and her husband, have built thriving food trucks and rely on them to get by. However, the futures of both businesses became unclear after city leaders in Haines City, Florida began considering an ordinance that would effectively ban food trucks from operating in Haines City.

In January, city leaders started considering an ordinance that would force city staff to stop issuing the necessary approval for new food trucks to legally operate. The proposed ordinance would also stop existing food trucks from operating after October 1 when their approvals to operate ran out. The City Commission voted to approve the ordinance during a first reading in January and is expected to vote it into law during a final reading in February. But even though the ban has yet to be officially approved, Haines City has already begun enforcing it, causing some food trucks, such as Lenora’s business, to shut down.

Haines City’s food truck ban violates state law as well as the Florida and U.S. Constitutions. That’s why the Institute for Justice (IJ) sent a letter to city officials in Haines City, strongly urging them to cease efforts to pass a near-total ban on food trucks and to immediately allow all banned food trucks to resume operations. Jurisdictions like Haines City should be helping small businesses grow, not putting them out of business.





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