Norfolk is not the first city to hesitate in allowing mobile vendors in its downtown and other dense business areas—but we don’t want to be one of the last either. With a rise in popularity of food trucks, street carts, and other mobile vendors over the last decade, cities throughout the United States have taken on the challenge of adopting ordinances that allow vending and keep the peace between “brick & mortar” and mobile businesses alike. To that end, Re:Vision Norfolk has undertaken several efforts in support of food trucks in Norfolk.
As a research and education effort, we prepared “Considering Mobile Vendors in Norfolk”, a document that overviews the various aspects of the food truck conversation and the opportunity available to the city. The document also addresses common concerns and misconceptions about food trucks, spotlighting precedents and other important information needed to reasonably assess the issue.
To highlight the demand for food trucks—and in conjunction with the wildly successful “Eat the Streets 757” event—we created “Hungry for Food Trucks”, a Facebook fan page where citizens are asked to “like” the page to show their support for food trucks in Norfolk. Over 1,475 people have done so thus far.
In September of 2012, Re:Vision Norfolk applied for an ordinance change to allow the reasonable adoption of food trucks in Norfolk. The application was modified slightly in October and then unanimously approved by Planning Commission in December of 2012. It is currently under consideration by Norfolk City Council.