Skip to comments.Upstate New York Food Truck Shut Down For Not Having a Permit that Doesn’t Exist Yet
Posted on 10/04/2012 5:36:12 AM PDT by Altariel
For the past two years, Peter Cimino has been selling gourmet tacos in business parks in Amherst, N.Y., a suburb of Buffalo. In his bright lime green truck, creative entrées like chimichurri chicken and tomatillo pork sizzle. His Lloyd Taco Truck was personally invited by the owner of the Amherst Commerce Park to enliven the area and Pete was operating entirely on private property. But on Monday, Amherst shut his business down. A police officer even threatened to tow away Petes taco truck, for not having a permit.
Theres just one problem: Amherst doesnt have a food truck permit yet.
The town is currently in the process of creating a new food truck ordinance, but it wont even be considered until November. Instead, Amherst wants Pete to comply with a 20-year ordinance that was written for peddlers, door-to-door salesmen, and junk dealers, not street food. For $100, these street vendors get a permission slip from the government to sell in one location for 90 days. But as Pete points out, his truck usually visits five or six towns, so he could be forced to pay at least $500 in fees, every three months: if we cant be mobile, then we might as well just shut down. What a great way to encourage entrepreneurs.
In an interview with the Buffalo News, Pete was outraged: The way we've been treated, I can't say it's anything other than being bullied. In addition, he actively tried to comply with all the relevant paperwork before he started selling. He called town officials to see if any permits were needed and was informed he didnt need any. Sadly, this is the third time in less than a month that a food truck has been forced to stop vending in Amherst without a permit.
Unsurprisingly, theres also protectionism at work here. According to the Buffalo News:
[Police Chief John] Askey also said he was embarrassed to learn that the "anonymous complaint" lodged with the Building Department against the Lloyd Taco Truck on Monday came from one of his own officers, who has relatives in the restaurant business and called in the complaint as a private citizen.
However, the Amherst Chamber of Commerce was quick to distance itself from the food truck crackdown, tweeting:
ACC supports all biz, whether big, small, brick & mortar or mobile. We operate as a separate entity from the Town of Amherst.
Pete and his Lloyd Taco truck were previously featured in an Institute for Justice video about street food vending in Buffalo. Thanks in part to IJs efforts there at the grassroots, the city council rejected a proposal supported by brick-and-mortars to limit food trucks to certain zones, and instead passed an ordinance favored by the food trucks that opened up more of the city to their innovative business model.
[Police Chief John] Askey also said he was embarrassed to learn that the “anonymous complaint” lodged with the Building Department against the Lloyd Taco Truck on Monday came from one of his own officers, who has relatives in the restaurant business and called in the complaint as a private citizen.
We call that “crony capitalism”.
Did not this man know that all things are forbidden unless authorized in advance?
All this mess started by yet another crooked cop?
Food truck man broke the Golden Rule... Those who have the
gold make the rules.
Oh... and one other thing... That Cop wouldn’t give a rats
a$$ about the stupid fee if it didn’t go to help pay his
“Gee, buddy, it’d be a reeeeaaalll shame if somethin’ happened to your business. Maybe we can help you wid dat...”
Pete might want to reconsider locking in for a peddler’s permit as the new food truck permits are likely to be much more.
Crime doesn't pay.
Traffic violators do.
When a LEO uses his uniform, or conspires with another to so do, a Federal felony occurs. That LEO conspired with a bureaucrap to infringe the Constitution guarantees of teh lunch truck owner because the LEO called in a complaint knowing there was no law on the books.
Hopefully, the lawyers at the Institute for Justice think “1983”.
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