BOYNE CITY, MI — Wishing to take a little longer to decide how it will regulate the operation of food trucks in the city, the Boyne City City Commission on Tuesday extended a moratorium on the mobile businesses for another 90 days.
On June 24 the city commission enacted its first food truck moratorium after many months of debating the issue and on the same night that had originally been slated for possible adoption of an ordinance governing their operation.
The issue cropped up close to a year ago last fall when several mobile food vendors contacted city officials inquiring about what the regulations are for them to operate in the city.
The simple answer is: There are none.
Noting the increasing popularity of mobile food vendors and number of inquiries, city staff suggested to the commission that it should consider drafting an ordinance to govern them.
Following several public input sessions and discussions at city commission meetings, the commission was poised to consider an ordinance that would have set a yearly license fee, how many vendors could operate at a given time and location, public property locations where they would be allowed to park and other factors.
However, as the meeting drew closer a group of business owners, many of them restaurant operators, requested a meeting with city officials to voice their concerns about the proposed ordinance. Following the meeting, city staff came out with a revised recommendation to scrap the proposed ordinance and impose the moratorium.
Much of the concern that has been voiced by opponents of the food trucks, is that they will steal business from “brick-and-mortar” restaurants operating in the downtown, who are much more invested in the community and pay city property taxes to operated their businesses, unlike the vendors.
Proponents of allowing the food trucks have said that they would offer yet another amenity to the community that would likely draw more visitors.
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