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City Council Passes Bill To Add 4,000 Extra Street Food Vendor Permits

A food truck located on Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside (Photo: Queens Post)

Jan. 29, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

The City Council passed legislation Thursday that will more than double the number of permits for food vendors in the five boroughs.

The bill clears the way for an additional 4,000 street food vending permits to be granted over the next 10 years. The new permits will be on top of the existing cap of 3,000– a number that vendor advocates say is too small and has led to a black market.

The legislation passed by 34-to-13 and now awaits Mayor de Blasio’s signature. The mayor said at a  press briefing Monday that he supports the bill.

“This is something I’ve wanted to see for a long time,” de Blasio said. “A balanced plan to support street vendors, but with clear ground rules and strong enforcement.”

The new permits, which will be referred to as supervisory licenses, will be issued in batches of 400 each year – beginning in 2022 through 2032.

The bill calls for the creation of a new vending law enforcement unit that will be tasked with enforcing vending laws and responding to vending complaints and violations.

Furthermore, an advisory board will be set up under the law to assess the effectiveness of the enforcement unit and the roll-out of new permits. It will also make recommendations pertaining to vending laws.

The passage of the legislation has proven to be controversial.

Advocates for brick-and-mortar restaurants argue that street vendors–who don’t have the same overhead costs– take away much-needed customers. They say that the issuance of more permits will make it more challenging for restaurants when many are already on the brink of closure.

More than 150 food merchants and business groups sent a letter to Speaker Corey Johnson earlier this month opposing the bill.

Supporters of the legislation, however, say that it is needed in order for street vendors–many of whom are people of color and immigrants– to make a living.

Many vendors are currently forced to pay excessive amounts to get a permit on the black market or are susceptible to being being slapped with heavy fines.

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18 Comments

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Concerned Citizen

As long as they are heavily penalized for dumping garbage on the streets….have you seen Corona? Vendors literally pack their garbage and toss it on the side walk….not even in garbage cans…just on random parts of the curb.

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Bring on the food trucks

Coming from a state that has a lot of food trucks, it doesn’t hurt restaurants. If it’s somehow hurting yours, change something that you’re doing wrong. I miss food truck Fridays where I am from and restaurants even brought there own trucks there. Many places started off as trucks and now own their restaurant. It helps people.

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Chica Jackson

@Bring on the food trucks.I bet the state you come from doesn’t have a rat problem.Food trucks attract rodents and adds to the litter on the streets. No thank you.

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tacos no thanks

where do these hombres go to the bathroom and wash their hands?
think about it
SSP should take a taco to the lab and see what biological wonders lie inside

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Bertha

I wonder if big chain food industries will start turning into street vendors. Its no longer worth it to rent space with the lockdowns. My friend who is healthcare worker told me that like the flu coronavirus is not going away anytime soon. We will just have to change our norms. I would love Starbucks to become a street vendor. Like the governor stated its timr that all these empty apartments and offices become affordable housing and homeless shelters.

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Joanna

But what about the environment and pollution. All these generators are bad for the environment and food vendors are usually placed near high traffic and overpopulated communities.

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ABoondy

how are those taco trucks competing with taco joints that sell for half the price? its one of the reasons i never order from the trucks. they are too expensive.

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Cc

Good way of bringing young mostly white food entrepreneurs to this city while motivating other ones to stay.

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Jill

I hope they offer a spot to the lady that sells tamales in Sunnyside. I wish someone would start a fundraiser for her to buy a truck.

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Citic Al

I love tamales. Does the woman sell at 46th St. station? I see her with her laundry cart full of something.

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Give me a break

Who wants to eat food from a laundry cart that was probably cook in a kitchen infested with roaches?

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Hakim

Keep them away from bike lanes and residential areas. I had to move out of an apartment in Astoria because my place would smell like a souvlaki stand every time i opened the window. I do not eat or like the smell of pork.

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Gia

More competition for struggling restaurants. A lot of these food trucks have outside dining and also deliver.

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