BIRMINGHAM, AL – The Birmingham City Council again delayed a vote on a mobile food vendors ordinance that has been under consideration for nearly a year and a half.
The council voted 8-0 to delay the vote until its Dec. 17 meeting in two weeks. Councilor Lasunda Scales was not present for the vote.
Assistant city attorney Alan Foster told the council members that because of the short Thanksgiving holiday week last week, the city’s legal department needed more time to address all of their legal concerns and to ensure the ordinance is fair to both food truck vendors and brick-and-mortar restaurant owners.
Key ordinance points:
- Create food zones within the city where food trucks and push carts could set up — either in a permanent location within the city limits or on a rotation cycle at specific locations within the “premier area” of the City Center.
- Require food truck vendors to pay an annual fee of $300 for a general permit to operate with the city limits or $500 for a “premier” permit to operate within the City Center; for push carts operators, those fees would be $80 or $100, respectively.
- Establish a Mobile Food Vendors Committee made up of representatives from various city departments, as well as REV Birmingham and the Greater Birmingham Street Food Coalition, to review all applications and approve their locations.
- Restrict food trucks from operating with 150 feet of an existing restaurant.
- Limit, with some exceptions, the hours during which mobile food vendors could operate within the City Center to between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, plus some late-night hours determined on a case-by-case basis.
The Greater Birmingham Street Food Coalition, which represents the food truck and push cart vendors, has been vocal in its opposition to the ordinance as it it currently written, calling it “restrictive and oppressive.”
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