City considering ordinance to regulate food trucks

City considering ordinance to regulate food trucks

SPOKANE, Wash. - A new ordinance proposed at Monday night's Spokane City Council meeting would regulate cooking on street corners. It's a plan to give food trucks some guidance but not everyone serving out of a window is happy.

There are food trucks and carts popping up all over Spokane; a dozen of them cooked at the food truck rally about two weeks ago. Now city leaders are proposing changes that'll help and hurt truck owners.

The issue was first brought to light more than a year ago and, since then, the city conducted a study with leaders, planners, and truck owners. The result was a new city ordinance proposed Monday night.

One major change is the ten minute rule. Technically trucks can only stay in one place for ten minutes, thought it's not often enforced. The ordinance would allow for as long as the meter's limit.

"We wanted to make sure our rules accommodated that industry," Andrew Worlock with the city planning department said.

Truck owners would also have to get permission from the business they're parked in front of, even if it's a city spot.

"Today, if a mobile food vendor parks in front of a business and the business doesn't like having the food vendor there, they can ask them to move," Worlock said.

The ordinance would change that, a positive for truck owners so that situation won't arise. However it would also add a $40 application fee for oversight and $10 for each location they want to set up.

Even though Big Red's Chicago Style cuisine is locked down at Government Way and Sunset Boulevard, owner Curtis Bytnar doesn't agree with the added costs.

"I pay a $380 permit per year, plus I have to pay for all my business licenses through Washington state. All that adds up. If they want more, it's never going to stop," he said.

The ordinance would also add fees depending on the size of the food truck.

The city council will hold public comment on the food truck ordinance during it's meeting next Monday at 6 p.m.