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2 Baltimore Food Trucks Dishing Up Lawsuit Against The City

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- There's something new on the menu for Baltimore food trucks. It's a fresh serving of lawsuit.

Two truck owners are suing the city for more space on the street, WJZ's Alex DeMetrick reports.

Food truck rallies in places like parks and parking lots are popular in Baltimore, but dishing up solo on the street...

"I actually don't feel like I have any spot I can park in the city," said Nikki McGowan, Madame BBQ truck.

So the food truck owners of Madame BBQ and Pizza Di Joey came to court with their lawyers to sue Baltimore. They want the law changed to park closer to traditional restaurants.

Right now, they can be no closer than the length of a football field, or 300-feet, from a restaurant serving the same food a truck serves.

"I can't be within 300-feet of these places. Three-hundred-feet from one is within 200-feet of another. It really significantly narrows my ability to operate my business successfully," said Joey Vanoni, Pizza Di Joey truck.

"Dunkin' Donuts is right there. They have sandwiches. They don't have barbecue. But I still can't park there because we also have sandwiches," McGowan said.

The 300-foot proximity ban does nothing but discriminate against food trucks and other mobile vendors in order to protect brick and mortar businesses," said Gregory Reed, Institute for Justice.

The city's lawyer declined to go on camera, but made the case in court that the law protects Baltimore's economic stability.

Stressing the jobs they create and the large investments they make, the city says restaurants are important to support. Truck owners want to see it dished up without buffer zones.

"I need to be able to have a fair shake at this," said McGowan.

The judge took both sides' arguments under submission and will rule later in writing.

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