The Town of Islip is one step closer to relaxing its restrictions on food trucks.

The Town Board voted Tuesday to hold a public hearing on a resolution containing new language for Chapter 39, the "peddlers" portion of the town code, which will make it easier for food cart vendors to set up shop.

After a 30-year ban on stationary food peddlers was lifted in July, the town received only a handful of applications for food trucks, and none were approved.

Currently, town code states that peddlers must keep their food trucks 1,000 feet away from any restaurant or business that sells food "for immediate consumption." The trucks have to be parked on a hard surface -- not grass -- and cannot occupy any part of a state roadway.

The new wording in the resolution, drawn up by town Attorney John Ryan DiCioccio at the request of the board, would allow vendors to set up in the "industrial corridor district," a stretch of highway that includes property within 300 feet of either side of Veterans Memorial Highway between the Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway.

Unlike under the current code, the new wording would allow food trucks to be parked within 1,000 feet of restaurants and also allow their operation on the sides of state roadways and on grass lots.

Food trucks would still be restricted from operating in residential neighborhoods, within 500 feet of a highway entrance or exit ramp, within 1,000 feet of any Islip Town park or recreation facility, within 1,000 feet of another licensed stationary peddler, and within 200 feet of a church or school. Under the new wording for the code, there would still remain a limit of two food trucks per hamlet (allowing 30 total food trucks in the town) and hours of operation would remain from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Chapter 39 of the town code urges careful regulation of stationary food peddlers but acknowledges that "the stationary peddling of food products, if properly regulated, serves an important public purpose."

The public hearing is expected to take place at the next Town Board meeting, scheduled for March 20 at 2 p.m.

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