Food and Drink, The Features

Proposed Food Truck Legislation: What They Mean as the Comments Period Comes to a Close

Photo courtesy of Phaesia2012
Gotta Have it!
courtesy of Phaesia2012

Back in January, the Mayor’s office announced newly proposed food truck legislation that aims to update the more than 30-year-old laws regarding street vending. With the period for public comments ending tomorrow, I spoke with some of the food truck owners in the city about their thoughts on the legislation and what they hope will happen next. If you haven’t sent your comments to the Mayor’s Office and the DCRA yet, you can do so by sending an email to DCVendingRegs@dc.gov by March 1, 5 PM. Those of you that stand with the food trucks can show support by heading to www.passnewregs.org and submitting a letter to the Mayor from there.

After the jump you’ll find more about legislation and what I learned from the food truck owners. And if you’re really curious, you can read the full proposal here (all 67 pages).

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News, The Daily Feed

Death at Construction Site in Brookland

Photo courtesy of
‘construction vertigo’
courtesy of ‘amarino17′

[Update, 11:30a: DCRA has re-checked their records, and the site had all the required permits, and passed several inspections during the process.  This appears to have just been a tragic accident, not a permitting process gone awry.  OSHA has been brought in to investigate the incident.  According to DCRA’s Gil, the trench had intended to be 7-8 feet deep, and was 5 feet deep when it collapsed.]

Late yesterday, a man working in a construction trench at a house on Evarts Street NE in Brookland was buried alive when the trench structure gave way.  While DC Fire & EMS worked to save the man before he succumbed, the trench’s collapse was too serious.  This morning, I spoke with DCRA about the site, and they revealed that the work the man was doing was unpermitted, and that an inspector had told the man to stop work earlier in the day. [please note correction above – ed.]

“We’ve had people do incredibly dangerous unpermitted work before, but I can’t recall last time it resulted in a person’s death,” said Helder Gil from DCRA this morning. DCRA had been on the site yesterday, and had issued a stop work order for the site, but unfortunately the man returned to work after the visit.  Our thoughts are with the man’s family today.

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News, The Daily Feed

Capital City Diner and DCRA Square Off On Twitter

diner.jpg
boulevard diner
courtesy of Paul Keleher

You might’ve caught the Washington City Paper’s piece this morning on the soon-to-be delivered Capital City Diner, about an old rail-car-style diner from upstate New York being moved to DC to be put up in Trinidad. If you missed it, it’s well worth the read, so head on over, and then click back.

Today, as it turns out, is the move-in day for the diner itself, being delivered to its new home over in Trinidad on the back of a semi. One slight problem: DCRA has not, and apparently will not, approve the foundation that the diner is due to be sitting on. According to their twitter feed, at one point a DCRA inspector came and left without approving the foundation, and after a few back & forth tweets, it seems that DCRA themselves headed out to the site to get things resolved, but not before the diner was given a parking ticket by the city. Now, I’m not exactly sure the last time an entire restaurant was given a parking ticket, but I have to feel for Matt Ashburn, who must feel like insult is being added to injury at this point. Young and Hungry has some more detail as well.

[Update]: DCist has talked with Ashburn, and he’s gotten permission to put the diner on the foundation. We’re still waiting to hear back from @dcra on Twitter, here’s hoping we can get to the bottom of what happened.

[Update 2]: DCRA has put up a couple public replies about what happened today: “But he had some serious issues with architect who took advantage of them.” and “But architect essentially forged engineer’s signature. The REAL engineer confirmed this.” Ouch! That’s shady shady shady! Fortunately, DCRA & Capital City Diner are kissing & making up. From @dcra: “The @capcitydiner guys are great and are now doing the right thing. We’ll do anything they need to make it happen.”