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north little rock

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR – Less than a year after setting regulations for mobile food vendors, the North Little Rock City Council is about to consider loosening those rules to make it easier for mobile food trucks to operate in the city.

The amendment seeks to “clarify and simplify” lengthy regulations that became difficult for mobile food vendors to meet, City Attorney Jason Carter said.

The City Council will introduce the changes at its 6 p.m. meeting today but may decide to postpone a vote until its next meeting to allow for a future public hearing, Carter said.

“We want to alleviate some of the burdens that we consider to be unnecessary to impose on people,” Carter said. “Basically, we just want to make it easier for them to operate.”

The proposal deletes 73 lines from the six-page ordinance approved by the City Council on July 14, while adding 12 lines to simplify some rules. One rule that will stay, according to the legislation, limits food trucks to special events only.

Donna Hardcastle, executive director of the Argenta Downtown Council and the Argenta Arts Foundation, said the current rules make the city appear “unfriendly” toward mobile food vendors.

Because the Downtown Council and the Arts Foundation both sponsor and manage special events downtown, Hardcastle has worked with Mayor Joe Smith to simplify the process. Smith is sponsoring the legislation change.

“I think the whole process was real cumbersome, with way too many details for them to meet that are not required when they set up in other cities,” Hardcastle said. “We wanted to have people in the food truck business not to think that we’re unfriendly to them, and that’s the impression they have right now. We want to get past that.”

Find the entire article at arkansasonline.com <here>

fayetteville food trailer

FAYETTEVILLE, AR – The City of Fayetteville had seventeen vendors apply for the food truck lottery; six were chosen, and eighteen days later all vendors have been told they don’t qualify.

The permit given in the food truck lottery would allow vendors to sell their food on city property, including streets, parking lots and parks.

Clayton Scott, the owner of Frickin Chicken, said he did his homework when he applied for the lottery. Scott said he read and reread the ordinance, and it didn’t specify what qualified as a food truck.

He said he found out on May 1 that he was a winner, and then he got a call on May 19 from the city saying he was disqualified because he had a trailer and not a truck.

“Lighten up the rules and back off a little bit,” Scott said, “Give us freedom, don’t restrict and constrict the aesthetics and beauty of mobile food vending in Fayetteville.”

City Planning Director Andrew Garner said a food truck has a motor and is mobile, and doesn’t have to be pulled by another vehicle.

Garner said the issue with Scott and the other five winners was that they had trailers. He said the vendors had concession trailers that needed to be pulled by a pick-up, not something like a truck that would be easily maneuvered on a busy city street.

“There’s just safety issues with somebody potentially backing up a big trailer like in a busy urban area trying to pull it into a parallel parking space,” Garner said, “It’s not really conducive to pulling in and out really quickly like you would with a truck.”

Scott said the controversy between a truck and a trailer was never mentioned until he got the call on May 19— eighteen days after he was told he would be getting a permit.

“Now I have $45,000 invested in my trailer,” Scott said, “It was more to invest in that trailer than it was to start this business, so for me to say OK I can’t use the trailer I guess I’ll just sell it and buy a truck… well that is not an option for me.”

Find the entire article at 5newsonline.com <here>

Fayetteville food truck

FAYETTEVILLE, AR – Fayetteville aldermen last week passed new regulations that should make it easier for mobile vendors to operate around town.

The new laws, brought forth by Alderman Matthew Petty, include changes to the previous mobile vendor regulations, but also establish specific rules for roving food trucks and businesses that operate inside “mobile vendor courts.”

Changes to previous laws

Vendors who want to operate a temporary business on private property in one specific location can now stay there for six months with a permit from the city’s planning division. The previous law only allowed vendors to stay in one spot for 90 days before they had to apply for an extension from the Planning Commission.

Those businesses would not be allowed to match or duplicate the primary food or beverage sold by a permanent business located immediately adjacent (and on the same side of the street) as their mobile vending unit. In other words, a taco stand couldn’t operate directly next door to Taco Bell. They could, however, serve Coca-Cola or rice since neither food is a primary product.

Vendors who wish to stay in business longer than six months would have two options.

They could either get a permit for a new location at least a quarter mile away, or they could apply for an annual permit from the Planning Commission to stay in their original location.

Regardless of which option they choose, vendors must pay a $100 permit fee each year unless they operate inside a mobile vendor court such as the Yacht Club on College.

Mobile vendor courts 

Property owners can create a mobile vendor court on their land if they’re approved for a Conditional Use Permit.

Find the entire article at fayettevilleflyer.com <here>

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