The Dallas City Council’s Quality of Life Committee met this morning (and is probably still meeting) about potentially lowering the costs of streetscape licensing and street vending permits in downtown Dallas. Generally, I think this is good news for the city. Lowering the costs = potentially more restaurants with outdoor seating/more food trucks in Dallas = more pedestrians enjoying downtown = everyone is happy. In George Lewis’ words, “Fees can be onerous, simply because food trucks are mobile, which means multiple cities. Multiply $300 – $600 for all of the cities: Dallas, University Park, Highland Park, Arlington, Denton, FW, Carrollton, Garland, etc. and you rack up a chunk of government money.”
I snuck out of the meeting after the streetscape licensing part because I had to get back to the office, but the vending permits Powerpoint is on the committee briefings page, anyway.
The proposal is to cut vending licenses by half to $600 annually. Right now, food trucks are allowed to operate between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily, but the proposed update would extend those hours to 10 p.m. (Mon-Thursday, Sunday) and midnight (Friday and Saturday). There’s also a suggestion to require photo ID badges for all vendors, prohibit smoking by vendors while operating in the vending locations, and to establish a dress code. All these are unregulated right now and sound pretty fair, except… what’s up with this dress code? Take a look for yourself:
Appendix B: Proposed Dress Code
- Proposed minimum dress requirements for vendors include the following
- Clothing must be neat, clean and sanitary at all times
- Walking shorts allowed, but no cut-offs ◦ No apparel with offensive or suggestive language,images, symbols
- No tank tops or halter tops
- No outer apparel made of fishnet or undergarment material
I don’t know about you, but I can imagine it gets pretty hot in a food truck when the weather reaches over 100 degrees. No tank tops?? Perhaps people are afraid of tank tops for chest hair or other sanitary reasons (deodorant should do the trick), but George makes another good observation. “Funny thing about required clothing. Pretty dumb… no tank tops or halter tops, yet Hooter’s, Twin Peaks? Where’s the consistency?”
And those ladies even get to work indoors.
Overall, the city’s stance on food trucks seems to be heading in a fair direction. “In general, despite the occasional carping by the public about how behind Dallas is, I think that the city permitting and enforcement has done a pretty good job,” says George.