MARQUETTE, MI – Historically, mobile food vendors in Marquette were allowed to operate in the city with a permit on private property and at special events, but an ordinance being proposed might allow the vendors to operate on public streets and property.

The Marquette City Commission on Monday scheduled a public hearing for May 26 to consider the ordinance.

“We have a food truck ordinance in place, or prepared,” Mayor Mike Coyne said. “It really still needs some tweaking, particularly with vendors who don’t have trucks but have carts … but I think we’re basically close to having that.”

Mike Walker, owner of the food truck Dia de los Tacos, said he approached the city because he felt there was a need for such an ordinance.

“When we did, there was a little bit of confusion because there isn’t necessarily an ordinance that prohibits us from doing it, but I also wanted to make sure there was language saying we could,” Walker said.

The only city ordinance that applied to food trucks was antiquated, he said, and dealt with a different type of mobile vending.

“It wasn’t even about food at all,” Walker explained. “The license is called a hawker/peddler license, so it’d be like somebody setting up a blanket to sell watches or something like that. So we wanted to have something that actually applied to what we were doing.”

Walker said some people have viewed the ordinance as the city “coming after” food trucks, but that’s not the case.

“The city’s been great to work with. The commission’s been unanimously supportive, and there’s no ill will between us and anybody in the city or anything like that,” he said.

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