ALPENA, MI – Alpena Municipal Council (Northern Michigan) decided to send some potential changes to the city zoning ordinance regarding food trucks back to the planning commission for additional consideration.

On Monday the council expressed a desire to implement a permit fee for food trucks, as well as limiting their use to commercial property in the city. The planning commission requested the city approve the use of them in residential areas, but concerns by council was enough to send it back to them for reworking.

Councilwoman Cindy Johnson said she is in favor of allowing food trucks downtown as long as they have permission from private property owners to park and operate. Food will not be able to be sold on city property without advanced consideration by staff and council. Johnson said she was in favor of not having a buffer zone between traditional restaurants and the food trucks because they will still get customers.

“I think it will bring people downtown,” Johnson said. “I don’t think it will hurt the brick and mortar restaurants because if they don’t see something on the truck they want, that is where they are going to go.”

Councilman Mike Nowak said a permit fee to operate a truck should be considered. He said restaurant owners in the city pay taxes and truck owners should pay something as well.

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