Burien City Council approves food truck pilot program, area restaurants push back

On Monday, the Burien City Council voted to allow food trucks within city limits, despite the wishes of local brick-and-mortar restaurant owners who claim they weren't included in the community information campaign.

The pilot program goes into effect the first week of May and will last for 12 months. The city will assess the program for one year to see whether the food trucks benefit the community. 

However, a group of restaurant owners are disappointed by the vote, which passed a majority 5-2.

A coalition of Latino and BIPOC businesses say the resolution passed Monday night shows how "disconnected some elected officials are from the pandemic’s economic devastation."

"It is difficult and disappointing to witness how tone deaf the council majority is to our concerns," says Alfredo Covarrubias, President of Empresarios Unidos. "What makes this especially offensive is that they have zero experience operating a restaurant during a catastrophic pandemic. We were left out of the process altogether for months because we don’t matter to them. We won't sit still or stand by quietly as they dictate terms that threaten to destroy our livelihood and years of sweat and sacrifice!" 

Over 50 restaurants have signed a petition saying they oppose the new ordinance. The restaurants say adding food trucks will increase competition for already-struggling businesses.

The trucks won't be able to park 50 feet near a restaurant without permission. 

The food truck discussion has been happening in Burien since February 2020.

Empresarios Unidos said earlier in the month that they do not oppose food truck businesses, but they want rules to be the same for food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants.

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