Chicago Food Trucks

Accusing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel of protecting restaurants at their expense, Chicago food truck owners plan to file a lawsuit this week, challenging key aspects of the Chicago ordinance that authorized mobile food trucks with cooking on board, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Circuit Court suit takes aim at the requirement that food trucks stay 200 feet away from stationary restaurants and that food trucks install GPS devices on board so City Hall can track their movements.

Robert Frommer, an attorney at the Washington, D.C.,-based Institute for Justice, said the 200-foot buffer violates the due process guarantees outlined in the Illinois Constitution.

“It exists for one reason and one reason only: to protect a few, politically-connected restaurants from competition,” Frommer said.

“That’s not a legitimate purpose. Government exists to protect public health and safety. Government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers in the marketplace. That’s the job of consumers.”

The ordinance also created designated “food stands” exempt from the 200-foot rule — with space for two food trucks — in congested, parking-starved areas.