Relaxed fees could boost Fairfax food trucks

FAIRFAX, Va. — There could soon be an explosion of new food truck opportunities in Fairfax County, where zoning rules for the mini restaurants on wheels have been eased significantly.

Zoning fees for food trucks are now $100 a year, compared to previous annual fees that could exceed $16,000.

“I think that’s great. I think the public should have more choices,” said Kortney Roth, who talked to WTOP while getting gas in Fairfax County’s Tysons Corner area.

Roth said she enjoys the quick convenience and variety of culinary options offered by food trucks that frequent the Bethesda, Maryland neighborhood where she works. She said she also believes that expanding food truck opportunities will be good for the region’s economy.

“It gives small businesses an opportunity to grow and I think it’ll be great for Fairfax County,” said Roth.

In addition to the $100 zoning permit and other required permits and licenses, food truck owners will need permission from property owners to visit locations, such as office buildings, shopping centers and construction sites.

“We don’t allow any food trucks on the property,” said J.R. Altavena, who manages two office buildings at the intersection of Va. 7 and Gallows Road in Tysons. “We have enough convenient restaurants in the area.”

mcdonalds (WTOP/Kristi King)

Some Fairfax County residents aren’t interested in frequenting food trucks. One man told WTOP, "I’d rather do McDonald’s," such as this restaurant location on Chain Bridge Road in Tysons Corner. (WTOP/Kristi King)

Altavena’s colleague, Ronnie Gearheart, believes food trucks could create more problems than they solve.

“They could draw the wrong crowd, create even more traffic problems and be detrimental to people trying to get in and out of the building,” said Gearheart.

At a nearby construction site, Danny Pearson of Annandale, Virginia welcomes food trucks, which he believes could spice up his lunchtime options.

“See, look what we got there: Subway and Taco Bell. You get tired of that stuff,” Pearson said.

He said he also likes food trucks’ quickly made-to-order meals that usually include less-processed ingredients.

“They got better stuff for you to eat healthier,” said Pearson.

Only three trucks at a time can operate in a single location for a maximum visit of four hours. Food trucks are allowed on Fairfax County Park Authority land, with permission.

Click here to find a complete list of food truck regulations.

Follow @WTOP on Twitter and on WTOP Facebook page.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up