BATTLE CREEK, MI – After months of heated debate among residents and restaurant owners, city commissioners will vote next week on proposed changes to allow food trucks to operate in part of downtown Battle Creek.
City commissioners will vote on whether to introduce three ordinances at their regular meeting Tuesday, the first of two steps necessary to bring an end to decades-old regulations that have banned food trucks, leashed dogs, bicycles and skateboards in the downtown area. The ordinances also include guidelines for the city’s special events and expanding and renaming the central business district as the downtown business district.
If they vote to introduce the changes Tuesday, commissioners still would have to formally adopt the ordinances at a later meeting before food trucks would be allowed.
Since the last public comment last month, the city administration has added a “sunset” provision to terminate the part of the ordinance that would allow food trucks downtown at the end of 2015 unless the commission votes for an extension.
“There’s a lot of concerns about what might be,” Interim City Manager Susan Bedsole said. “And until we get to go through it a little bit so we know what is and not what might be, this gives us the opportunity to really go through two seasons and see. But it also gives some comfort level to those who don’t think they should be there at all and to say, ‘Look, we’re going to talk about this next fall.’”
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