By Keith Lane | NBC15
The Mobile Finance Committee to take up Mobile first proposed Food Truck Ordinance.
The Committee will meet on Tuesday, October 20th immediately following the Council meeting to discuss a proposed ordinance (below) addressing food trucks.
The meeting, originally planned for last week, had to be rescheduled as a result of Hurricane Sally.
There is currently no ordinance regulating food trucks in the city of Mobile.
Citizens interested in addressing the Council on this issue should contact the City Clerk’s office by the preceding Monday at 12:00 p.m. at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 251-208-7411.
The meeting will be held virtually and can be viewed at cityofmobile.org/livestream.
Councilman Joel Daves is chair of the committee and is joined on it by Councilmen Fred Richardson and John Williams.
FOOD TRUCK ORDINANCE
Sponsored by: Councilmember Manzie
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MOBILE, ALABAMA, as
Section One. Definitions.
a) Food truck means a food service establishment (as defined in Chapter 34 of the Mobile
City Code) that is mobile and located upon or within a vehicle, or which can be pulled by a vehicle,
or which can be pulled or pushed by human or animal power (such as a pushcart), where food or
beverage is cooked, prepared and/or served for individual portion service. This definition shall not
apply to coffee, frozen dessert or ice cream trucks that move from place to place and are stationary
in the same location for no more than 15 minutes at a time.
b) Commissary means a designated facility or fixed food establishment that the food truck
operates from and reports to for supplies and for cleaning and service operations.
Section Two. License Requirements.
a) It shall be unlawful for any food truck to sell, or offer for sale, any food or beverage without
first obtaining a business license as provided in Chapter 34 of the Mobile City Code.
b) In addition to any other requirements, each applicant for a food truck business license must
1) The name, home and business address of the applicant and copy of their current
food permit and any other permits required by state or county health departments.
2) A description of the food and/or beverage to be sold.
3) A description and photograph or drawing of the food truck for which a license is
4) Proof of at least one million dollars ($1,000,000) of liability/personal injury
5) Such information as the applicant may choose or as may be reasonably requested
by the city.
Section Three. Locations.
a) Subject to the restrictions and limitations set forth in this ordinance, food trucks shall be
permitted on private property, and at locations in the public right-of-way and in public parking lots
that have posted permanent signs identifying parking reserved for food trucks.
b) Food trucks may not:
1) Operate within three-hundred (300) feet of any restaurant located within a
permanent structure or building.
2) Operate at any city park or other city property unless:
A) At a special event hosted by the city; or,
B) At a designated mobile food vending site approved by the city planning
department (designated as such by appropriate signage).
3) Operate in R-1, R-2 or R-3 zoning districts without first obtaining a special, single
use/single day permit for operation for no more than two hours, from the City of
Mobile. No such permit shall be issued for the same location more than two times
Section Four. Specific Regulations.
a) A food truck shall only sell food and beverages. No other merchandise or items of any kind
shall be sold at a food truck. A food truck shall meet or exceed all federal, state and local
regulations pertaining to the quality of food products offered for sale.
b) In addition to any and all other ordinances, laws, rules and regulations, the food truck shall:
1) Display a valid City of Mobile business license.
2) Display a valid permit issued by the Mobile County Health Department.
3) If operating on private property, provide, upon request, a written agreement
between the property owner and the food truck operator stating permission has been
granted to operate at said location. An agreement must be provided for each
location of operation.
4) Contain food preparation completely within the food truck.
5) Not obstruct the flow of traffic on the public right-of-way.
6) If parked other than on the public right-of-way, meet setback requirements for all
respective zoning districts.
7) Be parked a minimum of twenty (20) feet from any street intersection.
8) If operating on a public right-of-way, be parked so that the food/beverage
distribution side is away from traffic.
9) Not occupy an area that would be greater than two parking spaces.
10) Not utilize public utility connections. Utility service is the responsibility of the
11) Constantly contain and police waste materials and refuse.
12) Provide a trash receptacle for use by customers.
13) Not set out or provide tables or chairs for customer use.
14) Not be left overnight at any location or left unattended at any time.
15) Only operate, and only be parked on public right-of-way or property, between the
hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
16) Return to commissary on a daily basis to service the food truck. This includes
getting fresh water, dumping waste, restocking supplies and disposing of garbage.
17) Not leave any location without first picking up, removing and disposing of all trash
and refuse remaining from sales made by the food truck.
18) Not set up, maintain or permit the use of any table, crate, carton, rack or any other
device to increase the selling or display capacity of the food truck.
19) Not solicit or conduct business with persons in a motor vehicle; that is, no drive-up
20) Not create sound or permit sound to emit from any device, including but not limited
to, loud mechanisms, or equipment which produces a loud and raucous noise
(except for generators as further set forth in this ordinance); or operate any loud
speaker, public address system, radio, music player, sound amplifier or similar
device to attract attention of the public or otherwise.
21) Not burn wood or charcoal or produce smoke.
22) Permit any advertising on the food truck except to identify the name or identity of
the food/beverage for sale, the name of the owner and/or business, and the posting
23) Secure all signs flat against the food truck. Signs may not project more than six
inches from the exterior of the food truck.
24) Provide exterior lighting which must be hooded or shielded so that the light source
is not scattering light to surroundings other than to the food truck and its adjacent
25) Obtain electrical service only by an onboard generator, or, if the food truck is set
up on private property, from a source on the private property. The total decibel
level for any generator(s) shall not exceed eighty (80) dbA at any time.
26) If parking in public right-of-way or city owned parking lots with parking meters or
fee based parking, pay on a daily basis all parking fees.
Section Five. Special Events.
The City of Mobile may issue a special event permit to allow the operation of food trucks outside
of normal requirements. Applications will be accepted by the city department hosting or in charge
of the event and permits will be issued on a first come, first serve basis until the maximum number
of allowed food trucks, as determined by such department, is reached. The number of food trucks
allowed at an event will be dependent on the space available where the event is being held. In
order to provide variety, the City of Mobile reserves the right to refuse to permit “same type” food
trucks when issuing permits where space limitations are involved. Special event hours will be the
duration of the event itself. Setup may occur beginning one hour prior to the start of the event and
clean-up must be completed within one hour of the end of event.
Section Six. Repealer.
All city ordinances in conflict with the provisions of this ordinance are hereby repealed to the
extent of such conflict.
Section Seven. Severability.
The provisions of this Ordinance are severable. If any part of this Ordinance is declared invalid
or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, that declaration shall not affect the part or
parts that remain.
Section Eight. Effective Date.
The Ordinance shall be effective within the corporate limits and police jurisdiction of the City of
Mobile on January 1 of the first year following its enactment and publication as required by law.