Cleveland revamps food truck ordinance Featured

As food trucks continue to rise in popularity, the Cleveland Board of Aldermen decided to reexamine the food truck ordinance. According to the food truck ordinance mobile pushcarts and mobile food preparation vehicles shall only conduct business in designated areas approved by the Department of Community Development. Attorney Jamie Jacks said, "We had a committee meeting and discussed that some of our caterers had more of a catering trailer, which I would describe as a pull behind vehicle. "I've tweaked our food truck ordinance and the two major points are we would allow a looser interpretation of a mobile food vendor to include a pull behind catering trailer but we would limit the location of these trailers to an area, which I believe to be Collins Street behind Planters Bank. “We can name it Food Truck Alley and it would be condensed to that area. We can limit the number of persons participating and make it like a destination instead of all over town," she said. Alderman Paul Janoush asked, "Some of them are very nice trailers and some of them are the kind you go and buy and put your four-wheeler on it and they put a grill on it. That's acceptable too?" Jacks said, "A catering trailer is acceptable if it meets all the other requirements that a mobile food vendor has, they have to pass inspections, health and safety regulations, be fully enclosed. I'll make sure that’s very clear." Cleveland Police Chief Buster Bingham said, "The new fire station is going over there and some of the sizes of those trailers and the size of the street might not be conducive." City Fire Inspector Greg Jackson said, "It is going to show where the food trucks can line up and end so moving fire trucks in and out will not be an issue. My understanding is it will not block the fire department." Alderman Gary Gainspoletti said, "Our fire station exit still goes out on South Street, and we won't put them right there at the entrance. It shouldn’t be any different from the other ordinance except it doesn’t require it's own motor and the location is changing." Jacks said the ordinance also allows the board to change the location. The city previously authorized to regulate the use of public streets, sidewalks, and rights-of-way for public health, safety, welfare, and convenience. These food trucks would not be put on trailers, but would have to be trucks that can run completely on their own, the ordinance adjustment allows them to be pulled but in an enclosed vehicle. Pushcarts will also be allowed and there will be signage regulations. According to the ordinance, “Mobile food vendor means any person who sells food and/or beverages other than ice cream or frozen treats, the sales of which are regulated by separate ordinance from a mobile pushcart or motorized mobile food preparation vehicle and whose sales occur at times and locations other than not-for-profit festivals sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce including Octoberfest and Crosstie Arts and Jazz Festival. Mobile food vendors are not considered transient vendors and are subject only to the requirements of this ordinance for permitting and oversight. All mobile food vendors are required to obtain a permit for each location where the owner of the mobile pushcart or mobile food prep vehicle intends to operate. All applications have to filed yearly and will be given on a first come first serve basis. Each vendor needs a privilege license from the city or town where the vendor's central kitchen is located and a food vending permit from the Mississippi Department of Health. Each vendor also needs a list of products sold, a scaled sketch plan or photos showed the pushcart or food vehicle, proof of insurance, and a written indemnity agreement that will hold harmless the city, its officers, and employees, for any loss or liability or damage, including costs, for bodily injury or property damage sustained by a person as a result of the negligent installation, use, or maintenance of a permitted space. Jackson will approve each vehicle. Permits cost $1,000 per year for vendors with central kitchens located outside the city and $500 per year for vendors who have central kitchens/privilege licenses inside city limits; this cost covers the administrative cost of processing the application and regulating each mobile pushcart or mobile food preparation vehicle. These mobile pushcarts can only conduct business in designated areas, including parking lots located on private property with the written permission of the owner of said property and where such a location shall not effect the requirement for parking for said property under the Land Development Ordinance. For private property, the city will require a completed Owner’s Affidavit, copies of which will be provided with a food vendor application. All approved mobile pushcarts and mobile food preparation vehicles must be licensed businesses within Cleveland with all operations pertinent to the mobile pushcart or vehicle operated within Cleveland. Food trucks may only be operated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Cleanup and removal of the pushcart or vehicle must be completed by 10:30 p.m.

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