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NORTHBROOK, IL - After almost a year of deliberations and discussions with community members, Northbrook officials have passed a set of regulations for food trucks, which have grown in popularity in the area and across the country over recent years.

The ordinance, which Northbrook trustees passed at a May 27 meeting, tries to strike a balance between allowing food trucks to provide service to residents and protecting the interests of the local businesses, officials said.

Trustees said they hope to revisit the rules in about a year to see if they need to be adjusted.

“One of the things we discussed is whether this will be negative or whether it will be positive,” said Trustee Todd Heller at a recent meeting, adding that in some cases having a food truck next other restaurant could increase foot traffic to the area in general. “We want to see what happens.”

The new regulations create three separate categories for types of food trucks.

Ice cream trucks would be allowed to operate on any public street in the village or on any parking lot with permission of the lot’s property owner.

Traditional food trucks, such as hot dog stands and cupcake wagons, also could park in any lot in the village as long as they have the property owner’s permission.

But they would not be allowed to operate on any public street in the village, just on Meadow and Sunset Ridge roads.

The two roadways were selected after a long discussion during which officials said they realized that the village doesn’t have many roads with on-street parking.

“We came to it sort of by a process of elimination,” said Tom Poupard, director of development and planning services, adding that there is a possibility of altering the regulations if needed.

The ordinance also restricts any food truck or ice cream truck from being close to a large-scale event such as a festival or a carnival that has been given a special-event permit by the village.

The mobile vendors have to be 500 feet away from the lot line of the property where such an event is occurring.

Find the entire article at chicagotribune.com <here>

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northbrook ilNORTHBROOK, IL - The food-truck regulations Northbrook officials are putting together are likely to pass the sardonic test of good law – none of the stakeholders will be completely satisfied.

So far, they certainly don’t thrill downtown brick-and-mortar fast-food providers like Pete Weiss of Little Louie’s, 1342 Shermer Road. The regulations, so far, would permit food trucks to park on Meadow Road south of Shermer Road, around the corner from his store.

Weiss may have started the whole drive to regulations when he looked out his window on Earth Day to find a food truck selling from the curb directly in front of his door.

“I’m glad there are going to be some regulations. That’s positive,” he said Nov. 14. “Otherwise, they can do whatever they want to.”

It’s unlikely that food trucks will wind up near his store for a typical lunch time, however, Village Development and Planning Services Director Tom Poupard said Nov. 14. What operator would want to waste a lunchtime in relatively lightly-traveled downtown Northbrook, when he could instead be invited by a manager of a Skokie Boulevard office tower to sit in its parking lot?

Joe and Louise Rycroft, owners of the Roadside food truck, haven’t been downtown since Earth Day. They’re spending Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday noons on the east-west portion of Sunset Ridge Road, near the southeast corner of Dundee Road and Skokie Boulevard, as they have since last year.

The new regulations, as currently envisioned, would find them off that public roadway and nestled in angle parking just to the south, Poupard said. The truck would be safer for walk-up customers there, but less visible from the street.

Not as good, Joe Rycroft said. “It’s not like we’ve developed thousands and thousands of customers from being here,” he said.

Find the entire article at northbrook.suntimes.com <here>

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northbrook ilNORTHBROOK, IL - Northbrook is looking into considering some sort of regulations for food trucks, which have been on the rise in the area.

Village trustees directed staff to research the topic further after a preliminary report was presented at a meeting in May.

Tom Poupard, Northbrook’s director of development, said in 2012 the village had 13 mobile vendors, an increase of five from eight in 2011. So far in 2013 the village already has granted 12 mobile vendor permits, he said.

The food trucks, which now follow the village’s regulations for ice cream trucks, already have to apply for mobile food permits with the town and conduct inspections.

Poupard said the regulations the village is looking into now include figuring out whether to designate certain areas where the food trucks can or cannot park. At the moment the food trucks can park anywhere on private or public roads, Poupard said.

He said so far the food trucks have in general been received well in the community.

“We’re glad that we’re having this hip activity in our otherwise sleepy suburb,” Poupard said, echoing village trustees who also liked the increased activity in the community.

Workers from a few office buildings in Northbrook, especially the ones near the Skokie Boulevard and Dundee Road intersection, expressed their happiness over the increased variety of food options, Poupard said.

But the village also got its first complaint about a food truck that was parked in the downtown Northbrook area during the Earth and Harbor Day celebration in April. Little Louie’s, a local hotdog and sandwich shop that has been in Northbrook for about four decades, did not like that a mobile vendor, which catered similar food, parked across the street from them, Poupard said.

Poupard said the village is scheduled to discuss different options on potential regulations for food trucks at a communications and legislation committee on June 11 at 6:30 p.m.

Some nearby communities have passed different types of regulations that Northbrook is taking into consideration, Poupard said.

The regulations vary from detailed, such as in Evanston, to general ones, such as in Glenview, Poupard said.

Find the entire article by Alexandra Chachkevitch at the Chicago Tribune <here>

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