By Raili Jacquet | Cotton Wood Holladay Journal
What once was something to supply construction workers with a hot lunch alternative has blossomed in our country to a gourmet mobile food phenomenon. Large cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle have embraced the movement and have welcomed specialized food vendors, and Holladay may be following suit.
Beginning with a request from resident and mobile food entrepreneur Mark Olsen, Holladay’s city planning staff began looking at their city code and allowances for mobile food businesses to set up shop in the city.
Holladay City’s planning staff began with Salt Lake City’s ordinance and began tweaking it from there.
“We looked at many cities’ ordinances, but Salt Lake City’s ordinance was a bit more in line with what we were looking for. We drafted Holladay to be a bit more pared down,” Holladay Contracted City Planner Pat Hanson said.
The drafted ordinance has a specification that the business can only be done out of a truck or a trailer, but sidewalk vending carts will not be allowed. A Holladay City business license will be required, as well as a health department license, Utah state vehicle licensing and proof of insurance to be provided to the city. The mobile food trucks will be allowed on public property (such as city parks and City Hall) with a lease agreement, but will not be able to park on the street.
“Anything in the public right-of-way is excluded from the ordinance,” Hanson said.
Other requirements will include a restriction of the vehicle to stay parked for more than 16 hours, and it must be removed when it is not operating. It must be parked on a hard surface, in good condition with no peeling paint or rust, and garbage removal will be required.
Councilmember Lynn Pace was concerned that allowance of mobile food business would add unnecessary competition to existing restaurants.
“I don’t want this to turn into a food truck park. These food trucks will be competing with brick and mortar industries that have to buy property and pay property tax,” Pace said. “If they are providing the service for us [for city events], then I have no problem with it; but I don’t want them to use it as their business model which would give them competitive advantage.”
The council held a public hearing on Aug. 1 and no residents commented on the proposed ordinance. The council has tentatively set to vote on the ordinance on Sept. 5.