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City Council, residents discuss food truck impact on Broadway

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By Barbara Taormina


REVERE – The City Council struggled this week with amendments to the ordinance regulating where and when food trucks can operate in the city. Several weeks ago, City Councillors Paul Argenzio and Joanne McKenna proposed changes to the local regulations that would keep food trucks away from Broadway, where they are cutting into the business of brick-and-mortar restaurants and distracting residents with the continual noise of generators. This week, the council held a public hearing on the amendments. Residents from the Broadway neighborhood turned out to support the changes that would keep the trucks off of their streets.

Reservoir Road resident Stephanie Desisto, who said she supported the narrowly focused amendment, came to the podium with her cell phone. She said she wanted to share and tapped play on her phone. The council heard a recording of a gravelly mechanical noise. “I’m subjected to that nine hours a day, seven days a week,” she told the council. “It never stops.”

Desisto also said the food trucks impact traffic and parking in the neighborhood. She said the trucks take scarce parking spaces and obscure the view of drivers – causing a public safety hazard. “I’m not here to get you to feel sorry for me,” she told councillors. “The sad thing is a senior has to come here and fight for what little is left to my quality of life.”

Restaurant owner Juan David Jaramillo said that as a business owner he initially supported the food trucks. He even agreed to allow truck workers to use his bathrooms. But these days, he has three trucks parked across from his restaurant every day. Jaramillo said it’s really cutting into his business and he may ultimately close for lunch.

Jaramillo said the ordinance is meant to keep the trucks away from brick-and-mortar restaurants that sell the same or similar food, but that’s not happening. He said the trucks are affecting about 30 businesses in the neighborhood. “We got together and talked about it,” he said.

Several other residents from Broadway also told the council about problems with noise and parking. Jessica Tores of 250 Broadway said she hears the trucks all day long, and she wondered how it will be during warmer months when people open their windows. “It’s driving me crazy to hear those trucks all day,” she said.

Anthony Cantino, who said he had been in the business for 50 years, said he had never heard of a stationary food truck. “You’re allowed to work in the city but you’ve got to move,” said Cantino.

Another resident said he has to crank up the volume on his television to hear it.

Councillors were sympathetic and concerned about residents in the Broadway neighborhood around City Hall. But they were also concerned about the food truck owners.

“It’s a tough situation,” said Councillor-at-Large Marc Silvestri, who added that the food truck operators are local residents and small business owners.

“These are small business owners who went out and invested everything in a truck, and now they can’t work in the city,” said Silvestri. “Maybe we can come up with an ordinance that mandates them to change locations.”

Councillor-at-Large Robert Haas said that the City of Revere could look for a designated location for the trucks that wouldn’t affect residents. Haas reminded fellow councillors that several weeks ago when the amendments to the ordinance were first discussed, the council heard from a local food truck owner who said limitations would have a devastating effect on her family livelihood.

Councillor-at-Large Anthony Zambuto said he likes the food trucks. “I like them on the beach, I like them moving around – I certainly don’t like them on Broadway in front of businesses,” said Zambuto.

Ward 6 Councillor Chris Giannino agreed and said, “These are mobile operations that should be mobile.”

The councillors seemed to agree with Desisto’s comment, “City Hall was never a make-sense area to have food trucks.”

The council voted to send the proposed amendments to the Legislative Affairs Subcommittee, which will review the issue on April 29.

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