Janesville Council Unanimously Approves Food Truck Ordinance

Janesville Council Unanimously Approves Food Truck Ordinance

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JANESVILLE, WI - Bring on the ice cream vendors and taco trucks.

The Janesville City Council unanimously OK’d new rules Monday that give mobile food trucks and cart vendors a healthy degree of food-carte blanche to sell streetside in Janesville.

The council pushed through ordinance changes that allows licensed, registered food trucks and carts that sell hot, prepared food to operate along streets and in public and private parking lots in much of the city except residential areas.

In its vote, the council eschewed a recommendation last week by the plan commission that trucks selling ice cream, shaved ice or frozen, packaged confectionaries be barred from selling in residential neighborhoods.

Instead, the council approved rules recommended Monday by city staff that will allow licensed ice cream trucks and carts to sell frozen items in neighborhoods from 8 a.m. to dusk, with a 9 p.m. curfew in other areas except downtown.

The council’s decision came after two months of public sessions during which residents and vendors gave feedback that helped the city shape new rules on food trucks.

The vote opens a new chapter in a city that had shut down mobile food trucks for decades after a child was hit by an ice cream truck in the 1980s, officials said.

Manager of Building and Development Services Gale Price, who reworked the city’s laws on mobile vendors, has said he expects most vendors will operate downtown, where the ordinance will allow mobile vendors to operate from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m.

In other areas including residential, sales will end at dusk, according to the new rules.

The ordinances have no cap on the number of cart or truck vendors allowed.

Council members talked about how the new rules would fit well with the city’s renewed efforts to rethink and revive commerce downtown.

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