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SCITUATE, MA – Before this week, the previous policy for food trucks in Scituate had not been updated since the 1990s. The lack of definitive regulations left the people who had obtained the hawker/peddler licenses confused on where they could and could not go, and also angered some local businesses who claimed the food carts were too close to their brick and mortar business.

For the selectmen it became confusing because there were no regulations in terms of how many licenses could be issued.

“Many more people are applying for licenses in town to sell stuff and it was getting a little chaotic,” said selectmen Chairman Anthony Vegnani.

In the fall selectmen decided it was time to research a new policy for the town. On Tuesday night, March 27, the selectmen established a new policy that regulates distances from businesses, the number of licenses that could be issued, and also places more requirements on the people who were looking to hawk or peddle in town.

Town administrator Patricia Vinchesi and selectmen administrator Kim Donovan researched the new policy. It requires that people who are looking run a mobile business in town need to obtain a state licenses, which is $62. The state license does CORI checks on the applicant, and requires the person running the cart pay meals tax and a state tax. If the person wishes to have their cart on town-owned land through the spring and summer then they must also obtain a license from the town. The cost for the town license increased from $15 to $50.

“I like that this has many more layers to it than before. (An applicant) can’t come before us and start vending the next day,” said Vegnani, which was what was happening last summer.

Donovan and Vinchesi looked at the policies of other towns in Massachusetts such as Amherst, Hingham, Worcester, and Provincetown. Also, members of the police department – Chief Brian Stewart and Officer Mark Thompson – went around town to establish the parameters of where the license holders could go.

Initially, it was considered establishing a no sale zone within 500-feet from an established business based on a similar measurement used in other towns. With this restriction, some areas of town would be out of the question for hawker/peddlers. For example, in Humarock, a license holder would have to be at the back of the beach parking lot and in Cole Parkway the boundaries go into the harbor.

Find the entire article by Kelly Anne Clinton at Wickedlocal.com <here>