- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 2, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The Omaha City Council has approved several new regulations for food trucks.

Council members approved Mayor Jean Stothert’s (STAH’-thurt’s) package at Tuesday’s council meeting. They take effect Nov. 16.

The new rules said trucks may be operated until 2:30 a.m. each day. They can’t be parked nearer than 50 feet from a restaurant and can’t be parked on private property unless the property owner approves.

The truck operators will have to pay an annual licensing fee of $100, plus an additional $100 if they operate downtown. The amendment that Stothert added not only implemented the downtown fee, but also allows business improvement districts to create zones with special rules for food trucks.

Councilman Pete Festersen proposed a “friendly amendment” saying food trucks are allowed to stay for four hours in areas where the posted parking limit is two hours. The council unanimously approved Festersen’s amendment.

“I’m satisfied we’ve come together and found a good balance between interests of food trucks and the quality of life they provide, and the addition they make to our urban fabric across our city,” Festersen said.

Earlier this year the council rejected an ordinance that would have imposed the city’s restaurant tax on the truck operators. The ordinance does not address the possible restaurant tax on the food trucks.

“The passage of this ordinance opens the door for more food trucks in Omaha,” said Omaha Food Truck Association President Kelly Keegan. “I think we’ll see more people getting into the business now that it’s legal.”

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