After months of discussion and study, Farmington city council members on Monday approved the final version of an ordinance governing mobile food vendors, including food trucks.
Officials first began to explore new rules after heated discussions over Farmington Brewing Company requests to bring in food trucks for special events. Council member Greg Cowley, who with his family owns John Cowley & Sons restaurant, has been a particularly vocal opponent; he has said they compete with brick-and-mortar businesses, but pay no taxes and take revenues out of the central business district.
The ordinance aims to level the playing field a bit by requiring a $150 fee, which city manager David Murphy said covers administrative costs and additional police patrols. Mobile vendors are also limited to three permits per year, and mobile food events may not last longer than three consecutive days. Vendors may not park within 150 feet of an existing restaurant unless the permit applicant also has a business that serves food or alcohol.
Murphy said he expects to monitor activities under the new ordinance, which goes into effect as soon as it’s published, and may suggest future changes.
While it may not be possible to cover every possible scenario, council member Steven Schneemann said, “I hope this relieves the concerns and consternation we’ve heard.”