SOUTH BEND, IN — Food trucks are now welcome in South Bend. By a vote of 9-0, the Common Council on Monday passed an ordinance adding food trucks to the list of allowable businesses in the city.

The ordinance establishes an annual licensing fee of $525 per truck, and it regulates how and where the trucks may operate.

In general, the trucks may not obstruct the public right of way and may only park in one spot for up to four hours downtown.

In addition, the trucks must pass regular health and fire inspections and have access to a licensed commissary kitchen.

And the owners must carry liability insurance.

The Department of Community Investment drafted the ordinance with input from the health, police, fire and building departments as well as the Board of Public Works and Downtown South Bend Inc.

Council members Oliver Davis, Gavin Ferlic and Tim Scott served as co-sponsors.

Officials on Monday presented the ordinance as an opportunity for aspiring restaurateurs to break into the business without the hefty upfront investment required of a brick-and-mortar establishment.

At the same time, brick-and-mortar restaurants can use the trucks to test new concepts or reach new customers, officials said, or rent kitchen space to operators as a source of additional income.

The ordinance allows trucks to operate both downtown and in areas such as Ignition Park or Blackthorn Corporate Park, where dining options are limited.

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