Tags Posts tagged with "Battle Creek"

Battle Creek

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empty battle creek streets
Jennifer Bowman/The Enquirer

BATTLE CREEK, MI - The lines on Jackson Street are painted and the ordinance is now on the books, but only one vendor has so far applied for a license since Battle Creek commissioners voted to allow food trucks downtown.

“The current application volume is about what we expected,” Jessica VanderKolk, the city’s communications specialist, said in an email Thursday. “We were not anticipating a large number of applications in the immediate term.”

Shane Farlin, owner of the food truck Hogzilla Squeals on Wheels, said he applied for the downtown vending license, the only one to have done so as of Wednesday morning. He said he already has a state-issued veterans peddler’s license and is exempt from additional fees because he is former military.

The City Commission voted in a new vending ordinance July 1, allowing up to seven food trucks to operate on Jackson Street beginning 10 days later. This week, crews marked off parking spaces and installed signs designating the spots for vending.

The issue sparked a months-long debate as downtown restaurant owners voiced concerns over unfair competition in an area that doesn’t have a large enough customer base to support the food trucks. After discussions over locations and the addition of a provision that would end mobile vending downtown after 2015 unless renewed, commissioners adopted the ordinance in a 7-2 vote.

Vendors can operate as early as 7 a.m. and as late as 3 a.m. and must pay a $30 monthly license fee. VanderKolk said because the ordinance requires a background check on all employees involved in transactions, it is the city’s standard practice that each employee must acquire a license.

Find the entire article at battlecreekenquirer.com <here>

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Battle Creek Downtown

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.’”

Find the entire article at battlecreekenquirer.com <here>

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Battle Creek Downtown

BATTLE CREEK, MI - Battle Creek officials will again discuss proposed downtown ordinance changes related to food trucks after putting the discussion on hold for nearly five months.

A public roundtable meeting on revisions of the city’s vending, downtown business district and special events ordinances will be held Wednesday, April 23. City staff held the first session in late November, during which downtown business owners voiced concerns over unfair competition from food trucks while residents said the mobile vendors could provide additional, much-needed dining options in Battle Creek.

Decades-old regulations prohibit food trucks from operating in the downtown area, the only part of Battle Creek where the mobile vendors are banned.

Officials have since changed the proposed vendors ordinance to allow food trucks downtown near Festival Market Square, the home of the Battle Creek Farmer’s Market and where construction planned for this year would enhance the site as a public gathering space.

Vendors would be prohibited in the downtown business district except “in designated parking space located parallel to Jackson between McCamly Street and Capital Avenue Southwest,” according to the ordinance.

The city said in a news release that the revisions would make the ordinances “more consistent with each other, as well as state law.” Susan Bedsole, interim city manager and community services director, said she hopes the recent change for food trucks is a “win-win situation” for the parties involved.

Find the entire article at battlecreekenquirer.com <here>

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In our quest to keep our readers up to date with the latest stories relating to the food truck industry has compiled a list of the stories that hit the wire this past weekend from New Haven, Wichita, Washington DC, Battle Creek and Youngstown.

September 27

OTW LogoCity attracts food trucks – NEW HAVEN, CT - New Haven foodies these days have plenty of reasons to rejoice.

Food trucks and carts have maintained a presence in downtown New Haven, but their numbers have grown over the last several years. Many of the trucks cater primarily to the Yale community, which seems to have embraced the street food culture.

Find the entire article <here>

Food trucks opening and expanding - WICHITA, KS - There’s all sorts of food truck news to report.

First, a new one is about to hit the road. The Rolling Dough, a wood-fired pizza food truck owned by Joseph and Cherry Nestelroad, will have its first service tonight outside of  Reverie Coffee Roasters, 2611 E. Douglas. They’ll be there from 6 to 8:30 p.m. serving a Mexi-pizza inspired menu that includes a chicken enchilada pizza, a nacho pizza and a guacamole pizza, each of which costs $7.

Find the entire article <here>

September 28

Gas station restaurants are becoming the next big thing in cuisine – WASHINGTON DC - Dorothy Goldstein had just visited her late husband at the cemetery. Now she and her son were hungry for a nice lunch. So, on a beautiful autumn afternoon, they headed for a gas station.

At the Exxon station in downtown Olney, they stepped up to the counter of Corned Beef King, where they’d dined before. To their left: a beef jerky display. To their right: keno on TV. All around them: the delish aroma of a New York deli.

Find the entire article <here>

Clear the way for food trucks downtown – BATTLE CREEK, MI - A lack of opportunity isn’t always what devils Battle Creek’s road to economic renaissance; often it’s a failure to see the opportunities, or an unwillingness to step away from a known if somewhat marginal security of the status quo.

So it is with the burgeoning resistance to efforts that would allow food trucks to operate downtown.

Find the entire article <here>

September 29

Youngstown welcomes Big Green Thing – YOUNGSTOWN, OH - It’s hard to miss Youngstown’s newest mobile dining option.

It’s a new food truck called the Big Green Thing run by a Youngstown woman who is taking some locally sourced ingredients to create unique dishes.

Owner Marla Herman said she didn’t choose the color green because it is her favorite color.

Find the entire article <here>

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food trucks plunder businessBATTLE CREEK, MI - Discussions about changing city ordinances to allow food trucks downtown have generated opposition among some Michigan Avenue business owners.

“Any business, whether you sell dresses or sandwiches or anything else, to support a fixed structure in aging buildings is a huge challenge,” said Eric Kitchen, who runs the Schlotszky’s Deli at 14 W. Michigan Ave.

“So for the city commissioners to consider allowing these fly-by-night, cherry-picking kind of operations to show up, it will turn out to be a decision not only for the business owners, property owners — but it’ll turn out to be a bad decision for the city.”

A letter, signed by area business owners, was sent to city commissioners Thursday in response to the city of Battle Creek’s early efforts to allow food vendors within its central business district before the end of this year. It would require changes to four ordinances because of zoning and special event changes.

The concerns leveled by the letter are as follow:

1. The current restaurant density in the CBD provides more seats than customers.

2. Food trucks have little, if any, investment in the community and do not provide a stable tax base for the city. Every dollar in revenue extracted by the food trucks comes out of the pockets of stable and permanent members of the community. Short term profiteering could easily lead to a diminished stable tax base and dire consequences.

3. Food trucks do not have restroom facilities and their patrons utilize the facilities of the permanent businesses in their immediate vicinity. Downtown litter would also increase.

4. Food trucks plunder business developed at great expense to restaurants in the CBD and are not required to abide by the same rules and regulations, design guidelines, or signage restrictions.

5. Food trucks pick and choose the days and times to operate, enjoy the luxury of good weather, peak dining times,and special events all at the expense of downtown restaurants. The lunch business developed by the fixed location restaurants must be protected from the incursion of food trucks.

6. We have not heard of or been provided with a study by the City of Battle Creek that has engaged this topic. What instigated the need for the code change?

Find the original article by Olivia Lewis and Jennifer Bowman at battlecreekenquirer.com <here>

The entire letter can be found <here>

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