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Discussion: Food Trucks

The City is interested to find out how the community feels about food trucks.

Note: The City is not proposing a change at this time. By using this online discussion, feedback on topics will be compiled and given to the City Council as informational only.

Currently, City Code does not allow food trucks in Edina. Would you support food trucks in Edina? Why or why not?

53 Responses

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susan de Hoog 11 months ago

Yes, I think it is a fun way to get residents out and about in the city by offering alternative lunch and dinner time options and to get people outside. Food trucks are entrepreneurial, which I feel is the spirit of Edina.

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Hein de Hoog 11 months ago

I support any type of entrepreneurial endeavors. Food trucks are popular and fun. Lets not restrict either in Edina.

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Joel Stegner, Community volunteer 11 months ago

Yes, but focus them on the parts of the city where there are not already an abundance of food outlets - or at corporate, school, church or park based events.

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Kip Clayton 11 months ago

No ... I am with Parasole Restaurant Holdings. We operate several restaurants in Edina. We are of the mind that food trucks take business away from the many brick and mortar restaurants that already operate in Edina. Edina's current restaurants are first class and offer great diversity. I also believe the trucks tend to be noisy and take away from the ambiance of the neighborhoods.

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Brian Tibaldo 11 months ago

YES! I think this is a great idea. Employees would be able to reach a greater diversity of food without leaving work. Many are unable to leave work for a great lunch due to busy work schedules. Such a service would help employees enjoy a greater variety and more convenience.

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Don Henrich 11 months ago

YES! If done properly, I believe food trucks will attract people to areas and increase sales in businesses, including restaurants. There should be limits on locations, hours and number.

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Kelly Streit 11 months ago

Yes! Food trucks are a fun way for families to have dinner or lunch in a less formal and often less expensive venue. When we were in San Francisco last year, they have a Friday evening event called Off the Grid at a large parking lot in a park. There are many food trucks and live music. It is a great event and would be great way to attract people to Edina. http://offthegridsf.com/markets/fort-mason-center

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Sarah Wuest 11 months ago

Yes! Food trucks are a valuable asset to a community bringing families and individuals into the city. We were in Portland Oregon last year and were so impressed with the swarms of people purchasing from the multitudes of food trucks. It would be an excellent addition to Edina.

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Bruce Langford 11 months ago

I am I favor of food trucks in Edina... And I think we should have as few restrictions on them as possible until an obvious problem crops up. I'm sure all the restaurants would be against this, but Minneapolis has been making it work, and so would we. This reminds me of the issue of liquor in restaurants....

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Jordan Gilgenbach admin 11 months ago

Bruce, interesting take. The City of Minneapolis has restrictions on where food trucks can and can't park in relation to restaurants or other venues. Would you support those types of restrictions?

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Bruce Langford 11 months ago

I think proximity to brick and mortar restaurants in the area around 50th and France is probably not such a great place for food trucks, especially with the traffic, but other than that, the food trucks need to be where the people are, and if that means within a few blocks of a restaurant, so be it. The customer is the ultimate voter with their pocketbook.

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Lois Ring 11 months ago

Yes, I think food trucks in Edina would be a wonderful addition. I live at Centennial Lakes Park and food trucks would offer new selections and a variety of food. There is very little available in the parks. This may bring more people to enjoy the parks as well.

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Cathy Bailly 11 months ago

I am in favor, with some restrictions. Question, though, would they pay any city tax as brick and mortars do, or are we just removing revenue that would otherwise be supporting our city?

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Jordan Gilgenbach admin 11 months ago

Hi, Cathy! That is a good question. Currently, with this online discussion, we are not proposing change, rather gathering resident feedback to present to the City Council. If they so chose, they can have staff further research the topics and make a recommendation. Taxation would have to be seriously considered and handled in a formal recommendation and ordinance to be voted on by the City Council. That being said, what would you prefer to see?

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Michael Swanson 11 months ago

Yes. Cities like Portland OR have a fun and affordable food truck "culture". Businesses don't like competition, but consumers (that's us the Edina residents) like options. Edina should build on the existing system that cities like Minneapolis are using for food trucks. Buen provecho.

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David Burley 11 months ago

Food Trucks should be limited to areas of the city were there are no existing restaurants. Chicago limits it's food trucks to 300' and Portland, Oregon concentrates all the trucks into one parking lot so as not to harm brick & mortar restaurants. Minneapolis limits to 100' - but there's discussion of increasing this and adding further restrictions. Trucks shouldn't be allowed at 50th & France as we already have a vibrant restaurant scene, and the city has recognized that the parking infrastructure is already strained.

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Jim Stromberg 11 months ago

Maybe at special events, or in parks where people might want to have a bite, but - in general - I think food trucks take away from the communities they serve. I certainly understand a worker in an office building wanting to get a fresh sandwich or something out in their parking lot, but imagine the food-trucks lined up along a city street, adding to the congestion of our already stressed transportation routes - and - imagine the message we send to our 'bricks & mortar' places of business, who continue to work hard at staying afloat. If we have to have them, restrict them, please, to parks and special events.

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Gene Persha 11 months ago

Comment: I am strongly opposed to food trucks in any commercial or residential area except for special events. Food trucks are a warm weather phenomenon and could easily cause unfair competition for our established restaurants. We also do not need more vehicles clogging up the streets, parking lots and open spaces. Furthermore, with food trucks, customers need adequate places to sit and discard their trash. The food truck situation in Minneapolis leaves much to be desired. We need to be careful with mobile commercialism. Food trucks are only facet of this.

1 Support
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Jordan Gilgenbach admin 11 months ago

Thanks for your comments, Gene! The need for seating, even though the food trucks are mobile, is a good point.

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Jim Schedin 11 months ago

I didn't know how I'd feel about food trucks until I experienced the lineup of them near the IDS center downtown. My own experience is that they offer a delightful assortment of interesting foods, but are a bit spendier in order to cover their costs. I'm not too worried about them taking business away from the brick & mortars, because if they can make better tasting food than what is served at a sit down establishment, then it's going to force the sit down establishment to up their game. If the food trucks serve mediocre food at high prices, then they won't be around for very long. Case in point: I've enjoyed really good food from food trucks, and I've also had a mediocre meal or two (I won't be a repeat customer at those food trucks). That being said, the sit downs do have to pay property taxes and thus I feel that they deserve a little bit of protection in the form of a setback regulation, i.e. no food trucks within 1000' feet of a brick & mortar.

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Josh Hillger 11 months ago

I do not believe Edina should have food trucks in areas where we already have brick and mortar restaurants. These restaurants are vested and participate in the community, pay taxes and offer atmosphere to our downtown area. The traffic is already too congested in areas like 50th and France and Centennial Lakes. What will be the incentive for our current restaurants to continue operating if they are undercut by food trucks or for new restaurants to open in Edina? Frankly there is not any incentive if someone can drop-in, ruin customer parking, the outside atmosphere at patio tables and take away business for those that have invested in our community?

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Jordan Gilgenbach admin 11 months ago

Josh, thanks for weighing in! That's in interesting point about outdoor patio seating at sit-down restaurants I hadn't thought of.

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Susan Alton 11 months ago

Yes! I think food trucks are a great idea! I work at 50th and France and many times I would like to enjoy the fresh air and scenery on my lunch hour without breaking the bank to go to a sit down restaurant. I think it is a fun idea and will get more residents to venture out and try something different. At least try it for a year.

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Stacy Solow 10 months ago

I also agree that it could be a year-by-year decision. If issues pop up, they can be solved, or the decision can be made not to renew the option the following year.

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Jordan Gilgenbach admin 11 months ago

Below is a message I received from An Nguyen, owner of Rice Paper restaurant at 50th & France:

As a restaurateur, I strongly oppose to the idea of allowing food trucks at 50 and France, and below are my reasons:

My investment in Rice Paper as a brick and mortar restaurant is significant financially, emotionally and physically. Under normal daily circumstances, it is extremely difficult just to compete and survive with the multitude of existing restaurants at 50th and France. To now be subjected to the possibility of competition from food trucks, which operate with a fraction of the investment and overhead as well as only maintain their presence in fair weather, is truly unfair.

To maintain my restaurant, I’m required to pay multiple costly annual licensing fees, including one for outdoor seating, exorbitant rents and insurance premiums and an ongoing schedule of rigorous, expensive maintenance costs both inside and out. To allow food trucks presence, with operate on only a fraction of these costs is to allow an overwhelmingly unfair competition with existing brick & mortar businesses.

Last year Peter’s Grill, one of the oldest restaurant anchors located in the heart of Minneapolis, was forced into closure due to the presence of food trucks.

In spite of the fact that they may offer a range of ethnically interesting food, they are also unsightly and I feel are both a low quality distraction as well as a hazard to the fluid movement of traffic throughout the 50th & France shopping district.

Had I know that there might be a strong possibility of food truck presence at 50th & France, I would quite likely have had strong reservations about the moving there.

In light of all these reasons, I feel that the city of Edina has an obligation to protect its merchants, especially in the 50th and France arena, which is heralds as one of the jewels of the cities economic fabric.

Edina has a plethora of culturally interesting and fun aspects with plenty of diversity without the need to add these currently trendy independent novelties to its high quality shopping district.

Most sincerely,

An Nguyen, Owner Rice Paper Restaurant

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Cocina del Barrio 11 months ago

Commercial refrigeration struggles after a certain temperature, which almost all trucks exceed if it is over 80 degrees outside. Raising the potential for foodborne illness.

The city of Minneapolis rolled this out without thinking enough about limits on permits, proximity to brick and mortar restaurants, traffic congestion that has occurred on Marquette due to heavy food truck concentration, side walk congestion, trash receptacles(even if trucks are to require to have their own trash for guests Marquette has overflowing city trash after lunch service), noise pollution, the smell of generator exhaust and strain on current tax paying brick and mortar restaurants.

We echo the sentiments of other restaurants on this page, we are NOT for the introduction of food trucks in Edina.

Thank you.

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Eric Christensen 10 months ago

I support protecting our local businesses, including restaurants, from competition. I like the idea that food trucks couldn't be close to brick and mortar restaurants. I think we should ban any new restaurants from opening within 1000 feet of any other restaurant. Or we could ban any new restaurants from ever opening again. That way, our current businesses wouldn't ever have to deal with competition.

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Emily A 10 months ago

I don't live or work in Edina. But I'd probably spend more of my time and money there if food trucks were part of the equation.

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Jordan Gilgenbach admin 10 months ago

Thanks for your comment, Emily! The 50th & France area prides itself in having very good restaurants and a unique shopping and dining experience. Do you think food trucks would make it less desirable, with the additional noise, smells, foot traffic, seating and/or garbage?

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Stacy Solow 10 months ago

I support food trucks in Edina. I have two small children so going to a bricks and mortar restaurant regularly isn't an option during the week. Food trucks are a great, easy, low stress way to expose them to new and different options, and a treat for adults too. I have no doubt that the majority of pushback will come from restaurant owners. While I understand their position, ultimately we can't insulate businesses from competition, or there will be no growth. Let consumers decide where they want to spend their food dollars. Restaurants must adapt and evolve to survive. Protecting them from new and innovative ideas is not the answer.

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Jim Schedin 10 months ago

One more thought about the perception that food trucks will compete with the brick & mortars: When I want to enjoy a nice sit down meal with an adult beverage at a relaxed pace, I'd choose the sit down place every time. It wouldn't matter if there were several food trucks parked right in front of the sit down establishment. The goal is a nice, relaxing meal, regardless of the weather or other factors. But when I want to grab a quick bite without having to wait to be seated, waiting for the wait staff to greet me, bring me water, wait for the food, wait for the bill, etc, etc, then my choices are limited to fast food or food trucks. That's why people will occasionally choose fast food over nice restaurants. Does a place like Taco Bell really compete with Rice Paper? Will food trucks (another form of fast food) who are required to be "X" feet from a nice sit down brick & mortar really take away business? I don't think so, because they both offer two totally different food experiences, depending upon what the consumer has time for or wants to experience.

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Jim Schedin 10 months ago

One more thought about the perception that food trucks will compete with the brick & mortars: When I want to enjoy a nice sit down meal with an adult beverage at a relaxed pace, I'd choose the sit down place every time. It wouldn't matter if there were several food trucks parked right in front of the sit down establishment. The goal is a nice, relaxing meal, regardless of the weather or other factors. But when I want to grab a quick bite without having to wait to be seated, waiting for the wait staff to greet me, bring me water, wait for the food, wait for the bill, etc, etc, then my choices are limited to fast food or food trucks. That's why people will occasionally choose fast food over nice restaurants. Does a place like Taco Bell really compete with Rice Paper? Will food trucks (another form of fast food) who are required to be "X" feet from a nice sit down brick & mortar really take away business? I don't think so, because they both offer two totally different food experiences, depending upon what the consumer has time for or wants to experience. In other words, to argue that someone who was planning on a nice meal at Cocina Del Barrio could be lured away by a truck parked at the curb a block away selling brisket on a bun (and having to stand there on the sidewalk and eat it) is laughable.

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Jordan Gilgenbach admin 10 months ago

Thanks for your comments, Jim! You bring up some interesting points!

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April Lutz 10 months ago

I work in Edina and would love the option of food truck for breakfast or lunch. I also love having them present at festivals, sports tournaments and other events at local parks. A food truck business is the same as any other small business and should be allowed to do business same as other businesses.

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Scott Busyn 10 months ago

I personally like the entreprenurial spirit of food trucks. Plus, I love the food! That being said, we need to move slowly on this and make sure we respect the interests of those restaruants who have invested in the success of pour community. On idea taken from Evanston, IL is to only grant licenses to those restaurants who already have a brick and mortar establishment in the city. This would be a way to experiment with food trucks while respecting "our own!"

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Jordan Gilgenbach admin 10 months ago

Interesting idea, Scott! I wonder if any existing Edina restaurants would open a food truck if that licensing structure were adopted. Thanks for your comments!

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Will Cave Will Cave 10 months ago

Food trucks offer a diversity in menus and provide new food ideas while giving customers an alternative choice. Many of these they may never see before or had the option to try. Food truck owners are new emerging entrepreneurs who want to do a great thing for the community & are local, talented chefs who can showcase their talents in a way that has not been traditionally available due to the expense of opening a brick & mortar establishment.

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Deb Waldin 10 months ago

Food trucks would be a fun addition to Edina. I love the existing restaurants at 50th, 44th and other areas but being able to bike to or dash out for a quick bite is just another choice I'd like to be able to make. America was built on entrepreneurs and competition is a way of life in any business. Evolve and change or....don't. Maybe the bricks and mortars need to add a take-out window that doesn't involve going into the restaurant (just saying helmet hair from biking is not attractive). This could be an opportunity to grow their business, too, with some creative thinking. I say "yes" to food trucks!

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Patrick Finley 10 months ago

I am not in favor of Food Trucks in Edina. I agree with the points made by Josh Hillger..

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Tim S 10 months ago

I LOVE to eat and love variety in where I eat. Just check out Yelp and you'll see my reviews of local restaurants. However, I am opposed to have food trucks in Edina on a permanent basis.

Food trucks are a fad. Granted, the image has changed about food trucks, but I am a firm believer of supporting all our brick-and-mortar businesses first. Edina has worked hard on its economic development, and without these businesses, we would look blighted. Or restaurant business would go to neighboring cities. Food trucks would undermine the established businesses we have.

The other reason I am opposed to food trucks is we don't have a lot of room or parking space in certain areas. Food trucks would tie up precious real estate. However, at special events like the Centennial Lakes Arts Festival they are fine. People expect that.

I like having food options, but we have plenty of great restaurants we should and need to support first.

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Douglas linder 10 months ago

I am opposed to food trucks & think we need support the brick and mortar resturantes

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Mike x 10 months ago

Why did Edina ban food trucks in the first place? There must have been specific reasons. Understanding that historical perspective would help me to consider what has changed since then in considering if trucks should now be allowed.

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Jordan Gilgenbach admin 10 months ago

Mike, thanks for your comment! To clarify, food trucks have been allowed to operate in the City in the past, but only in association with special events, like the Edina Art Fair, Fall into the Arts Festival, etc. This is an important distinction -- a food truck associated with an event vs. a food truck setting up somewhere 5 days a week for 6 months out of the year. That said, I can't speak on why they are not allowed altogether in the past.

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Claudia Eggan 10 months ago

Yes! I agree with most, here, highly congested areas are not the place for food trucks. I've been to food truck areas in Portland, OR, and think they would be a great addition to our community. In Portland, most trucks are permanently parked in parking lots close to park areas. I don't like the idea of permanent trucks but do think proximity to a park would be great for foodies and families. What a great way to discover new foods! I would not have thought to enter an Ethiopian restaurant without having tried the cuisine from a food truck first (I'm not that adventurous). To those worried about competition for our local restaurants, I think most people will choose a quick food-truck meal or a restaurant. If not a food truck, they are most likely to choose a drive-thru or grocery deli rather than a restaurant. Are there park areas where we could designate a food-truck-night or food-truck-Sunday so there is parking plus picnic area? It should be set on certain day(s) so we get commitment from well-run food trucks AND we can market the availability to residents and surrounding suburbs.

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Mark Johnson 10 months ago

Yes. Food trucks can offer a more diverse cuisine that our current restaurants can offer and usually at a much more affordable price. It will also provide a reasonably priced option for people who work in Edina.

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Kate Hurley 10 months ago

Yes! What better way to encourage brick and mortar restaurants (along with other food tricks and aspiring chefs) to think outside the box to create unique and inspiring dishes than to add a little competition to the area? I love food, be that from a food truck or a tried and true brick and mortar, but the more creative, the better. Nothing makes us better at our craft than learning from our competition and our peers! Brick and mortar chefs... Take note of all the ingenious ideas coming out of food trucks these days! Bring them into your restaurants, and in turn, bring in new customers! Plus... Is there anything more stimulating to the local economy than people who have just been wowed by some stellar cuisine?

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Amy Olson 10 months ago

Yes to food trucks. We are an active family that would love a diversity of food choices on-the-go. I do not think this would cut into our sit-down restaurant time, only our consumption of less healthy quick-service food.

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Richard Perrine 10 months ago

No-ruined many long time restaurants in downtown Minneapolis

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Hilary Santoni 10 months ago

Yes but with restrictions. I would not want to see them at or near 50& France. There are plenty of other possible areas.

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Jerry Holguin 10 months ago

I spent 9 years in Portland, OR and I'm quite familiar with food trucks. Love them! Great, inexpensive interesting ethnic food which would bring a little diversity to Edina. Gets working people outside and interacting with other working folks. It supports small business and competition is always good for the customer.

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Andrew Armstrong 10 months ago

I don't see a reason for them not to be there, having more choices for food in that area would be a great thing. Having more options over the Parasole overpriced/mediocre food is a brilliant idea. All in for the food truck.

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Lee Owens 10 months ago

Would food trucks really make Edina a better place for living, learning, raising families and doing business? It is important to remember food trucks in Edina are the point of discussion, not whether food trucks are good or bad in general. Edina’s has a unique business climate and city dynamic. This is not an easy place to do business Restaurants, bakeries and other food shops have huge expenses operating where land values and rent rates are high. Some casualties of the expense include: 1. Alix In Candyland 2. Bissinger French Confections 3. Franklin Bakery 4. In Season (close by in Southwest Minneapolis) 5. Pandolfi Candy Gelato & Gifts 6. Premiere Cheese Market 7. Tejas The low operating costs of food trucks would give them an advantage over year-round brick and mortar food venues. Please keep food trucks out of Edina, except for the Centennial Lakes Farmers Market where other temporary vendors set up shop.

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Dan Atkins 10 months ago

Compelling.
That is the operative word here (as in much of government regulation). Is there a COMPELLING reason to ban food trucks? No. There is not.

So the answer to your question is "Yes" allow them. But the context of the question bothers me a little.
It should not be about what Edina should "Allow".
Edina should not be about what it allows.
Edina should be about the freedom do do what a person wants unless there is a compelling reason to ban it. But maybe this is another topic altogether.

Back to the ban. If we want to protect the Brick & Mortar businesses would we consider banning the brown paper bags we carry our lunches in? Of course not and banning food trucks is only slightly less ridiculous. Both brick & mortar and food trucks have competitive advantages. We don't need to creates barriers.
Allow capitalism to work.
Your vote should be to allow the residents workers to vote with their wallets. We have demonstrated that we are pretty good at it.

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