PROVO, UT – Mobile food businesses were given some new marching orders Tuesday: Stay out of downtown Provo, unless invited for a special occasion.
The Provo Municipal Council approved unanimously, with two council members missing, an ordinance on licensing and regulating food truck vendors, what they can and cannot do, and where they can do it.
Highlights of the new regulations include the following:
- Food trucks will not be allowed in the downtown area without special permission from the city administration, exceptions would be allowed for special events in the downtown area.
- Food trucks will be allowed adjacent to city parks with approval from the parks director.
- Background checks will be done on food truck owners and drivers but not on all employees.
- Multiple food trucks will be allowed to operate on the same street.
Those missing were chairman Hal Miller and council member Gary Garrett.
“I feel the document we have come up with is very good,” said councilman Stephen Hales.
Members of the brick and mortar restaurant owners group, truck vendors and other downtown residents met during the past two weeks to agree on what is good for everyone.
Discussion considered how federal law may prohibit restriction on the free markets and how food trucks can be kept from the Center Street area.
The accepted distance is a 100-foot radius from the main entrance of a brick and mortar restaurant. However, the number of restaurants and the type of parking available already is very prohibitive in the downtown area.
One suggestion included the city’s mayor signing off on exemptions for trucks in the downtown area.
“Overall I’m not excited about exemptions coming to me,” Mayor John Curtis said. “That’s all I would be doing — approving exemptions.”
Some discussion included using a neighborhood chair to help.
Council attorney Brian Jones said, “The intent only applies to the downtown neighborhood chair. All of legal staff have concerns about a prohibition district. We’re creating a district in which food trucks cannot enter, except on special occasions. Granting power to grant exceptions is taking away the power of the administration.”
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