Detroit expands food truck areas, adds restricted vending areas

A new ordinance in Detroit expands where food trucks can operate in the city.

It also restricts vendors from selling food in some areas.

"It’s exciting to offer our small business vendors this opportunity for success," said Dave Bell, the Building Safety, Engineering and Environmental director. "However, it’s an interdepartmental effort to ensure we all have success at the end of the day."

Food trucks in the downtown Central Business district and the midtown Cultural Center area can operate in four zones: 

  • Zone 1 bordered by Bagley, Cass, Howard and Third
  • Zone 2 bordered by Jefferson, Rivard, Atwater and Beaubien
  • Zone 3 bordered by Hendrie, Brush, Palmer and John R
  • Zone 4 bordered by Warren, Brush, Forest and John R

In other areas of the city, food trucks can vend on streets that allow public parking and are not residential, with some restrictions:

1. Street vendors are NOT allowed to vend between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. and must have left their vending location by midnight (Sec. 34-1-5(i)(2).
2. Street vendors cannot engage in sales within 200 feet of the doorway of a business that sells the same goods without written consent (Sec. 34-1-5(c)).
3. Street vendors cannot vend within 200 feet of a K-12 property. (Sec. 34-1-9(a)).
4. Street vendors cannot vend within 200 feet of any sports arena or stadium without written consent (Sec. 34-1-9(c)).
5. Street vendors have a limit of 4 people working at one time (a person with the vendor’s license and three licensed helpers. (Sec. 34-1-25(d)).
6. Street vendors must have a refuse container with a tight fighting lid which must be removed daily by the vendor. (Sec. 34-1-18(a)).
7. Street vendors must obey all other provisions of the Code. (Sec. 34-1-5(h)).

Areas where food trucks are not allowed include:

(City of Detroit)