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Food truck owners will head to trial to challenge city's '300-foot rule'

Food trucks and customers at a traveling food truck rally called The Gathering.
Food trucks and customers at a traveling food truck rally called The Gathering. (Karen Jackson, For The Baltimore Sun)

Local food truck owners who are suing the city over a rule that prohibits them from operating near brick-and-mortar restaurants will head to trial next month.

Attorneys for both the city and food truck owners Joey Vanoni and Nikki Marks requested summary judgment in July for the case, which was originally filed last year. The food truck owners, represented by the Arlington, Va.-based Institute for Justice, allege a city law that keeps them from selling food within 300 feet of a brick-and-mortar restaurant is unconstitutional.

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Baltimore City Circuit Judge Yolanda Tanner issued decisions Friday denying the requests for summary judgment from both parties.

Baltimore food truck owners continued their fight Wednesday to overturn a city rule that bars them from operating near brick-and-mortar restaurants.

The food truck owners allege the "300-foot rule" precludes them from operating in large swaths of the city, including neighborhoods like Federal Hill, Fells Point, Hampden and Harbor East.

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While they primarily operate in Baltimore's surrounding counties, both Vanoni and Marks have said they want to bring their business to Baltimore neighborhoods with high foot traffic.

The trial is scheduled for Sept. 28 in Baltimore City Circuit Court. A pretrial hearing is set for Friday.

Clarification: A photo that previously accompanied this article pictured a food truck owner who is not a party in this case.

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