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Fight Over Food Trucks In Northeast Philadelphia Could See Vendors Thing Of Past

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A fight over food trucks could soon see the mobile food hubs a thing of the past in one Philadelphia neighborhood.

The four food trucks at the corner of Bustleton and Cottman Avenues in Northeast Philadelphia are the last mobile food vendors allowed to operated in the 10th District after a new bill passed in city council on Thursday.

"They will remove all carts from here," one vendor said.

Councilmember Brian O'Neil sponsored the ordinance after complaints from traditional restaurants and safety concerns over stopped traffic.

The 10th District joins the 6th District, which has had a total mobile food ban since 1998.

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"October 1 is the drop deadline for this particular location," Matt Rossi said. "There is no other locations like this in the 10th District."

Rossi owns Nick's Roast Beef, a nearby brick and mortar restaurant. So one may think he's fully in support of the new ban.

But Rossi also operates eight food trucks and is the president of the Philly Mobile Food Association.

"There is always concern. Every little bit of competition, every dollar taken out of your pocket is a dollar you're not making," Rossi said. "We can work this out. We can work through this. That's been one of my jobs as the president of the association. These guys are members, I'm looking out for them."

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That includes creating special mobile truck zones in each district where vendors can park, set up shop and now worry about getting ticketed or kicked out.

Already in the 10th District, Rossi says the owners of a business may not allow part of their lot for such a use.

"It's a big project," Rossi said. "It's not something that's going to happen overnight."

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If those zones form, one vendor hopes the customers follow.

"It's a lot of hard work, but we will do it," a vendor said.

The ban applies to all mobile vendors, not just those selling food.

Licenses and Inspections is expected to enforce the ban.

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