Regulations for food truck vendors are now in place after village council gave a new ordinance a unanimous stamp of approval Sept. 17.
The matter was first brought before council in June after a food truck proprietor, Kait Shipman of Huntington Township, inquired about setting up shop in Wellington.
The village now requires $50 single-event permits and $100 multi-event permits that will expire at the end of each calendar year.
While the new ordinance encourages trucks to be placed on private property, there will be no difference between permit costs on public and private property.
A permit could be revoked or suspended if a food truck is located in a right of way that is needed for a public event, construction, repair, or any other public need. Permits are not transferable.
Village manager Steve Dupee will solely oversee the administering of permits.
He also has the authority to issue refunds to owners in the event they’re asked to cease or move their operation. Refunds will be handled on a case-by-case basis with no set criteria for dollar amounts.
“It’s up to my discretion,” he said. “A permit will be required whether is a truck is on public or private property with the same rules either way. My expectation is that someone who requests a permit would have a good idea where they want to go and that it will be related to some function or event.”
Owners will be responsible for disposing of their own trash and permits can also be revoked if a truck would seriously obstruct a public way, impair the movement of pedestrians or traffic, or pose any threat to public safety.
No regulation pertaining to mobile food vendors existed in Wellington prior to this summer. Council had previously passed legislation for sidewalk cafes, with owners required to apply for “temporary store” licenses that are good for one week to four months.
The food truck industry has grown at an annual rate of eight percent since 2011 and roughly 4,000 trucks are open for business nationally.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, counties that have embraced food trucks have also seen growth in their brick-and-mortar restaurant and catering businesses.
When asked about local business owners who may be apprehensive about the idea of food trucks moving into Wellington, Dupee said government cannot legally impede one business to protect another.
“We can’t deny or prohibit these types of requests but we can put requirements around them,” he said. “That’s what this ordinance is for.”
No food truck vendors, including the owner who made the inquiry, have contacted the village about obtaining a permit, Dupee said.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.