Annapolis, MD: Legislation would expand food truck access in city

Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides. (By Joshua McKerrow, Staff)

By Chase Cook  | The Capital Gazette

Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides. (By Joshua McKerrow, Staff)
Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides. (By Joshua McKerrow, Staff)

The wait is over. The Annapolis City Council is back from winter break.

Starting at 7 p.m. Monday, the council will cook up some new legislation with 12 newly introduced bills and resolutions, one of which would expand food truck access in the city.

The council also will likely vote on legislation that would waive residential parking fees in special residential parking districts for public housing and Section 8 housing residents. With five sponsors, the legislation will likely pass.

A public hearing will take place on legislation that was introduced by Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson, D-Ward 4, which would waive fees the city would levy against the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis. Finlayson introduced the legislation in an effort to help the HACA after Mayor Mike Pantelides levied an ultimatum against the organization — fix the properties or the city will shut them down.

Each rental inspection and licensing comes with a $100 fee. The HACA manages 790 units within the city and those fees would amount to a cost of $79,000 to the organization, which has struggled financially as federal funds dwindle.

After the public hearing, the legislation will return at another council meeting for final votes.

Alderman Joe Budge, D-Ward 1, will be introducing legislation that seeks to change how the city deals with “hawkers, peddlers and itinerant merchants,” according to the legislation.

Budge said his mission with the legislation is to update the code and make it more clear where the city wants these dealers, which include sidewalk sales and food trucks. It would also expand the potential locations for food trucks, he said.

Some of the changes the legislation would enact:

•Selling goods or services in conjunction with a fundraiser by a community association in that community no more than six times a year.

•Selling Boy or Girl Scout goods.

•Group licensing for vendors at special events.

•Door-to-door sales restricted to 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

•Sales allowed upon City Waters, when not docked (this would allow provision boats to serve boats anchored in city waters).

•Food trucks allowed on public property outside the Historic District in zones where standard restaurant is a permitted use without requiring special exception. Food trucks not to be within 100 feet of an established restaurant or residential zoning district.

•Food trucks on private property outside the Historic District in restaurant approved zones with permission from property owner. Also as part of a special event by a business association headquartered within Annapolis.

In other business, the council will consider legislation that would create a process for removing members of boards and commissioners. This legislation is in response to a recent spat between Annapolis Environmental Commission member Kurt Riegel and Pantelides. Riegel was removed from the commission after failing to sign a city-required ethics form because he disagreed with some of the language in the form.

Pantelides removed Riegel for not complying. But Riegel has not left the commission, claiming the mayor doesn’t have the authority to remove commission members.

The mayor believes he has implied power, since he appoints people to the boards and commissions. But this legislation would clarify that authority. It also gives the council the authority to remove people if the mayor doesn’t act to remove someone for cause.

The council meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 160 Duke of Gloucester Street. The city’s finance committee will meet at 6:30 p.m.