Like many other cities across the country, Chestertown, MD will soon be looking at the chance to open up their communities by allowing food trucks to become untethered from private lots. Unless there is little to no parking available, or food truck parking would cause a public safety issue, there is absolutely no reason these types of ordinances haven’t become the laws already.
CHESTERTOWN, MD — The Chestertown council is getting ready to decide if food trucks may operate in the downtown area, and if so, under what conditions. The discussion and possibly a vote is expected to take place at the Monday, March 21 council meeting.
Currently, the town allows food trucks on private property with the owner’s permission. They may set up on the streets for special occasions such as festivals.
Two food trucks have operated in town since the end of 2014, when the planning commission approved their applications to do business. Ashley Herr’s Black Burro truck sells tacos and Kevin Miller’s Papa Smurf truck sells barbecue, fried fish, burgers and hot dogs.
Herr was approved to set up on a vacant lot off Cannon Street, while Miller operates from a lot near the roundabout on upper High Street. Because they are on private property, they aren’t subject to a $1,000 fee mandated by the town ordinance governing itinerant peddlers and vendors.
In November, Herr’s attorney submitted a proposed amendment to the ordinance on peddlers. It would allow trucks to set up at locations including Park Row next to Fountain Park, the foot of High Street and any of the town’s commercial districts. The trucks would not be permitted to operate within 150 feet of an existing restaurant or on Park Row during the farmers market Saturday mornings. The proposal set a $35 annual license fee for food trucks.
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