MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - More eating options are coming to downtown Montgomery.
The city council passed an ordinance Tuesday night, authorizing locations for food trucks to operate downtown.
Currently, food trucks are authorized to operate on private property. The new ordinance creates additional designated zones in the public right-of-way at which food truck vendors will be allowed to operate with a valid business license.
Steve Jones, Director of General Services, says the city's Planning Department carefully considered where the trucks could set up.
"We didn't want a food truck to go park in a parking spot in front of a place like SaZa's at lunch. That doesn't make any sense. We've moved them up closer to the state buildings where we have the largest amounts of employees that there are downtown," Jones said.
Many who work in that part of the city said they are excited about the possibility of having additional places to get something to eat that are easily accessible.
There are already some food trucks on Commerce Street, and officials say the goal of this phase is to keep them away from restaurants so they won't compete for business.
Some voiced concern that it would hurt traffic at eateries inside state buildings.
The ordinance was passed unanimously by the city council.
The State House Inn parking lot and spots on Ripley Street between the Alabama State House and the Folsom Building are designated as food truck zones, and each spot will have signage.
Licensed vendors, approved by the health department, can park on a first come, first served basis from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily.
Officials say the trucks won't take away any parking spaces.
Food truck operators will have to adhere to certain rules.
One of the stipulations is the trucks must be manned and actively serving food while they're in that spot. They must also have their truck open for service on the side that faces the sidewalk for safety reasons.
"We wanted to put it in areas where we think it would generate some foot traffic for a state worker who has a 30 or 40 minute lunch break who can't get downtown. This would be convenient for them," Jones said. "We hope that in six months, we need to triple our food truck parking areas downtown because we have that much of a demand."
The City Clerk's office said it could go into effect as early as January 26.