The Linden City Council is considering language for a mobile food truck ordinance.
On Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, the council enacted a moratorium on food trucks in the city. This lasted until April 29. However, during the Monday, April 26 meeting, the council extended the moratorium another 30 days to give them time to consider and adopt an ordinance.
City Planner Adam Young said they borrowed language from other municipalities on mobile food trucks.
Suggested language includes requiring a permit to operate a mobile food vehicle. The city would create permits and vendors would have to apply, pay a fee, and show proof of insurance. These permits would be non-transferable.
“No fee shall be charged to a business which is on the city’s tax rolls whose normal business includes the sale of food and/or beverages. No one shall hire or subcontract such vendors in an attempt to evade the provisions of this chapter,” the ordinance states.
The ordinance also allows for single event permits for events on private property.
“If the single event is sponsored by a religious, charitable or nonprofit organization, the maximum duration may be extended by the city clerk to include the entire duration of the event,” the ordinance states.
Food trucks would not be allowed within a public street or other public property owned, maintained or controlled by any public agency. The city council could grant exceptions only for single event permits sponsored by a religious, charitable or nonprofit organization.
Vendors would not be allowed to operate on private property without permission of the owners. Food trucks on private property would have additional requirements, including only allowing them to operate on properties zoned LS, GC or CBD District. Private property events can’t take place in a location used for another business which is designated or intended for parking or travel of vehicles.
The suggested ordinance states that no food can be prepared, sold or displayed outside of mobile food vehicles, and they can’t operate in a manner that would disturb parking or street and sidewalk travel unless otherwise permitted by law in that location.
“The customer service area for mobile food vehicle vendor shall not be located within a street, driveway, vehicular maneuvering lane or otherwise located such that it would result in a safety hazard for patrons,” the ordinance states.
They shall provide a waste container, and the waste will be disposed of off-site by the operators.
“Barbeque pits shall require coals to be disposed of in a metal container with a securable lid. Coals must be emptied from the barbeque pit at the end of each day,” the ordinance states.
The ordinance includes noise restrictions. They shall operate between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m., April through September, and between the hours of 7 p.m. and 8 a.m., October through March.
The vehicles cannot be left on a street overnight or left unattended when food is in the vehicle. Unattended mobile food vehicles are considered a public safety hazard and may by ticketed and impounded. Signage is only allowed on the truck. No flashing, blinking or strobe lights are allowed.
Food trucks would not be allowed to operate within 500 feet of an existing brick-and-mortar restaurant when that restaurant is open.
Read the full suggested ordinance at lindenmi.us, under the meeting packet for Monday, April 26.
On Monday, April 26, the council also denied an application from Pit Boss Smokehouse to appear at an event at Symphony in Linden on Wednesday, April 28. The language in the original moratorium gave the council the power to approve mobile food vendors for special events.
After discussion, the council denied the request, citing the moratorium.