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Legislation

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kitchener Food Trucks

KITCHNER, ONTARIO - The controversy over new rules for food truck operators in Kitchener is heating up as a city committee considers them next week.

While council won’t decide on the proposed set of rules until May, at least one food truck operator says she’s finding the new rules hard to stomach.

At issue is a new a licensing fee of almost $2,000, plus a $150 event fee for every time trucks would set up for special Thursday night events downtown.

Previously, city staff had proposed food trucks be set up between 200 to 400 metres from existing restaurants. In the new proposed rules, that limit would shrink to 30 metres.

Andrea Kim and her husband Christopher started selling Korean food from their truck, West of Seoul, in September of 2013. She says the new rules would affect her bottom line and ultimately, the ability to operate her business in Kitchener.

“The fee is not only unreasonable in comparison to the fees of neighbouring cities, but it’s unreasonable just because of the type of access we’re being given,” Kim said.

She and her husband have already bought a license to operate in Hamilton, which only cost them about $300 by comparison.

Proposed new food truck rules

Food trucks will still be licensed as special events in Kitchener under modified rules proposed by city staff.  Council had previously considered rules at the end of February, until a motion by Coun. Berry Vrbanovic sent staff back to the drawing board.

Here’s what is included in the new rules being voted on Tuesday:

  • Food trucks will be able to operate in ?McLennan Park, Huron Natural Area, Budd Park and Southwest Optimist Park, as well as Huron Business Park.
  • Trucks must be set back at least 30 metres from businesses and 90 metres from schools, unless permission is given by the business or school to decrease that distance.
  • Trucks are prohibited downtown unless they’re part of special events and festivals, Monday lunch hours at city hall, Thursdays between 4:00 -10:00 p.m. at pre-determined locations, or one-off promotional events between businesses and the food trucks.
  • Trucks would also be permitted downtown as part of a pilot program in the Civic District which would see between one to three trucks operate one evening a week.
  • A food truck license to allow operators to set up on public and private property would cost $1,947, plus $150 per event fee. A license to operate on private property only would cost $1,051.

Find the entire article at cbc.ca <here>

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columbia mo food truck

COLUMBIA, MO - At its meeting Monday night, the Columbia City Council approved ordinances to authorize food truck zones on certain downtown streets and to extend the hours that restaurants are allowed to serve alcohol at sidewalk cafes.

After the passage of the ordinances, food trucks will be able to set up shop at eight on-street parking spaces on the south side of Cherry Street between Sixth and Seventh streets, eight spaces on the south side of Locust Street between Ninth and Tenth streets, and 10 spaces on the north side of Walnut Street between Ninth and Tenth.

To use the zones, food truck operators need to pay for the parking spaces they use by leasing meter bags from the city’s Public Works Department. Daily bags cost $10 for one space and $20 for two spaces, and monthly bags cost $150 for one space and $200 for two spaces.

Before passage of the food truck ordinance, food trucks were mostly limited to private parking lots.

Bryan Maness, owner of the Ozark Mountain Biscuit Co., testified before the council and asked it to amend the proposed ordinance to allow food trucks to park on city streets on the University of Missouri campus. Campus is predominantly zoned R-3 residential, and the ordinance the council passed does not allow food trucks in residential areas.

Council members indicated they might be open to adjusting food truck zones later, but Mayor Bob McDavid said the city should get the university’s input on the issue of allowing the trucks on campus before amending the ordinance.

“I think we should explore that,” McDavid said.

Find the entire article at columbiatribune.com <here>

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deland fl downtown

DELAND, FL - Food-truck vendors looking to operate on private property in DeLand will have to jump through a few new hoops before they can open their serving windows to hungry customers.

An ordinance requiring trucks and the sites which host them to get permits from the city passed 4-0 — with Commissioner Vonzelle Johnson absent — on second reading at Monday’s meeting of the City Commission.

Several commissioners had previously expressed concern that food trucks parked long-term in vacant lots were acting as de facto restaurants and competing with the town’s brick-and-mortar eateries.

The ordinance requires each food truck “host site” to get an annual license from the city.

Each site would be allowed to have food trucks up to 12 times each year.

The food trucks themselves will be required to undergo an annual fire safety inspection, as well as obtain a business tax receipt if based in the city.

The new rules wouldn’t apply to food trucks operating in the city as part of a special event.

While the idea for the ordinance was first brought up last summer, protracted negotiations with private land owners who would have been affected delayed its adoption.

Find the entire article by news-journalonline.com <here>

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charlotte food truck event

When government steps in to try to fix something that isn’t broken, they have a tendency of making things worse…in this case it looks like government wants to break the food trucks of Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE, NC - Charlotte food truck vendors are protesting proposed city regulations that they say would hurt their industry, which has grown increasingly popular in recent years.

One of the possible changes they’re most concerned about is a rule that would prevent food trucks from operating within 100 feet of a restaurant, nightclub or bar – which would make uptown operations a challenge. They also would face tougher restrictions in residential areas.

Some of the rules under consideration are designed to make it easier for the vendors, including new permitting requirements.

“I don’t think they’re intentionally trying to harm food trucks by any stretch of the imagination,” said David Stuck, who co-founded The Tin Kitchen, a food truck and catering company, in 2012. “But I do think they don’t understand what it is we do.”

There are more than 60 food trucks operating in Charlotte, offering everything from cupcakes to fajitas to grilled cheese, and employing hundreds. More than a dozen consistently gather for weekly Food Truck Friday in South End.

The owners say they got involved in a citizen advisory group hoping that their input would help the city understand what food truck operators need to thrive. But a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department draft proposal wasn’t what they expected.

Planning Manager Katrina Young, who’s been leading the citizen advisory meetings, says nothing in the proposed draft is permanent and that it’s meant to open a dialogue.

Many food trucks work with local craft breweries that don’t serve food, which is mutually beneficial. That wouldn’t be allowed under the proposal, but Young said that may need to be re-evaluated.

Also at risk would be bringing food trucks to events such as birthday parties and weddings in residential areas. A number of food trucks, including Stuck’s Tin Kitchen, get nearly half their business from such events.

Operators, fearing that proposed changes could permanently alter their business models, are responding with an online petition posted to the newly formed Charlotte Food Truck Association’s website – www. charlottefoodtrucks.org.

Find the entire article at charlotteobserver.com <here>

 

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cullman al map

CULLMAN, AL - From his perch in south Cullman at the corner of Lowe’s parking lot, Duane Coucke has spent the past year carving out his own niche in the burgeoning local food truck business.

As owner of Dewey’s Cajun Shack, he spent the early days making stops at a few different locations but has now settled in permanently at Lowe’s thanks to an agreement with the company and a steady stream of south side patrons in search of po’ boys and seafood plates.

With the City of Cullman now eyeing its first-ever food truck ordinance to establish some ground rules for the upstart vendors within the city, Coucke said he’s interested to see how the proposal works and the impact it could have to grow — or hurt — the industry.

“The food truck business is alive and well in larger metros, and it’s something that gives people a chance to experience other cultures through food,” he said. “That part, I think, is really good for Cullman. It’s a great thing if you’re able to get somebody in who is authentic Cajun or Mexican or Italian food. Sometimes you can have some people with great ideas who can really give the people of Cullman something different.”

After watching nearby cities like Birmingham run into headaches with the finer points of their ordinances in recent months, city leaders say they’re looking at several food truck guidelines to draft an ordinance that takes the better elements from regional cities to hopefully create a market that will benefit business owners and residents alike.

“We’re really just having an open discussion to see which ideas will work and what doesn’t so we can try to come up with a system that’s really fair,” city council member Clint Hollingsworth said. “Figuring out the locations will be critical, and finding ways to avoid traffic and safety issues.”

The council introduced a draft of the “Cullman Mobile Food Vendors Ordinance” earlier this week but tabled it to allow some additional tweaks before it is formally introduced for consideration.

A handful of food trucks are already operating successfully in Cullman, and Hollingsworth said the plans for a formal ordinance were born out of requests from potential vendors wanting more information about the area before they commit to launch a truck or expand service to the city.

“We’ve had people come to us who are in the business and those looking to invest in it, so it’s something we wanted to look at,” he said.

If executed well, Hollingsworth said he believes a formal ordinance — and hopefully the vendors it might bring — could be a worthwhile addition to downtown.

Find the entire article at cullmantimes.com <here>

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madison ct food truck

MADISON, CT - After initially bringing up the subject last summer, town officials seem to be getting set to take action on proposed rules by which, if passed, food truck vendors must abide.

The vendors have been a talking point in Madison, and the town is holding a public discussion on a draft of the rules later this month.

The Board of Selectmen first took up the issue last summer because the trucks, which are concentrated on School Street in front of Academy School, have limited regulation under town ordinances.

“The selectmen at the time started looking into rules and regulations to eliminate any problems before they come up,” Town Planner David Anderson said.

While Anderson said a large contingent of residents have been positive about the food trucks, he added that some people are opposed to the area where the vendors operate.

“Some people have felt that they are inappropriate in what is a historical area,” Anderson said.

Though he said some have disagreed with where the vendors are situated, Anderson made clear that the town isn’t trying to run the trucks out of Madison.

“We’re not trying to get rid of the food trucks,” Anderson said. “I think what the selectmen are saying is, ‘We’re OK with what’s going on, provided that there’s some limitations to it.’”

Find the entire article at shorelinetimes.com <here>

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Comida Food Truck

BOULDER, CO - Boulder is considering a slight relaxation of the rules for food trucks operating in the city as truck operators continue their push for fewer restrictions.

Boulder city staffers are recommending allowing more mobile food trucks — four instead of two — to operate on private property downtown in specific areas.

The change was requested to allow for more diversity in food offerings, potentially increasing business.

The city also is recommending letting food trucks operate in designated city parks again this summer, based on a pilot last year that received positive feedback from operators.

The City Council is scheduled to take an initial vote on food truck rule changes Wednesday night, with a second vote and public hearing likely to follow in May.

Licensed food trucks now can operate in rights-of-way in industrial zones and in business, mixed-use and downtown zones with property owner approval, but they cannot operate within 150 feet of restaurants and residential districts.

The rules on operating times and locations were created three years ago in an effort to strike a balance between the food trucks and brick-and-mortar operations.

Last summer, a pilot program allowed the trucks to set up in popular Boulder parks, and offer late-night business at the Park Central Building’s parking lot, near Arapahoe Avenue and Broadway. Few food trucks took advantage of the late-night option, with operators citing limited foot traffic and not enough lighting for safety.

Find the entire article at dailycamera.com <here>

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honolulu food trucks

HONOLULU, HI - The public will have the chance to give input on rules for city permits allowing food trucks to operate in the Hawaii Capital Special District at a meeting on April 24.

The public meeting, being held by the city departments of Transportation Services and Enterprise Services, is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Mission Memorial Hearings Room on South King Street next to Honolulu Hale.

The departments are coming up with rules to allow food truck vendors to bid for an as-yet-unspecified number of food truck permits allowing them to park in designated stalls in the district.

Other food trucks would not be allowed in the district during the two-year pilot program which was triggered by the approval of City Council Bill 1.

A second public hearing and comment period will occur after draft rules are produced.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell allowed the bill to become law without his signature, noting that food trucks did not provide input about the idea until after it was passed. Caldwell said the subsequent comments were largely negative.

Council Chairman Ernie Martin said he introduced the bill to make the process more equitable and provide the city with a small stream of income. Food truck vendors themselves suggested the permitting system, and that such a system not allow trucks without permits in the same vicinity.

Find the entire article at staradvertiser.com <here>

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brentwood tn food truck

BRENTWOOD, TN – As Middle Tennessee’s love for food trucks continues to gain traction, many of these restaurants on wheels are pulling into local offices’ parking lots to peddle their cuisines.

But that mobility in sales can sometimes run afoul of municipal ordinances, codes or regulations.

The Nashville Food Truck Association, a collective group of food truck owners and operators, is staying out of Maryland Farms for now after finding out that these mobile kitchens aren’t allowed to do business in some areas there according to Brentwood zoning rules, said NFTA president Dallas Shaw.

“The food trucks will abide by the request of the city and not park in that zone,” he said.

Shaw, who owns Hoss’ Loaded Burgers, was reminded of these regulations in early April, when his truck was in an area of Maryland Farms that didn’t allow retail sales. Shaw said there was some confusion on the food trucks owners’ part about whether they could set up shop if granted permission by the property owner. But zoning rules trump an invitation by the building owner in this instance, said Brentwood City Manager Kirk Bednar.

“Essentially, there are two types of zoning in Maryland Farms. C-1 is office only, which doesn’t allow for retail sales, and C-2, which is office or retail. We don’t go out looking for them. But if we see them, we do enforce (the rules),” said Bednar.

Brentwood has considered whether to change parts of its ordinance after the issue came up with another food truck selling food in the C-1 zone of Maryland Farms in 2012. The city is still looking into the matter. Until then, the city is enforcing the regulations that are on the books.

“Obviously, we understand it’s a growing business model. But we also have to consider the protection of brick and mortar places that are invested in community and pay taxes,” Bednar said.

Find the entire article at the tennessean.com <here>

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Worcester city hall

WORCESTER, MA - A City Council committee looking to create a more friendly environment for food truck vendors has broached the idea of establishing areas in the city where they would be allowed to conduct business by right.

The focus would be in the downtown, especially around Worcester Common, but it would also include other neighborhoods and parks.

As part of the idea being bandied about by the City Council Economic Development Committee, food truck operators would be required to pay a fee and be permitted by the city for the right to operate in those designated areas.

Councilor-at-Large Frederick C. Rushton, committee chairman, said Tuesday he would like to see the reintroduction of food trucks in the city on a “more populated scale” because they can bring greater economic vitality to an area.

He said current city regulations governing food truck operators make that difficult, in large part because they are required to get the permission from abutters within 50 feet of where they want to set up shop, and from restaurant owners within 250 feet.

“We have to get beyond the mobile food truck (owners) having to knock on doors hoping they’re going to find a friendly zone,” Mr. Rushton said. “Instead, we should move to establish some friendly zones throughout the city (where permission would not be needed).”

Find the entire article at telegram.com <here>

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