North Miami Wants to Levy Fees on Food Trucks

Jefe's

By Nadege Green | MiamiHerald.com

Jefe's

Gourmet food trucks are welcome in North Miami, but city officials want to make sure they pay.

North Miami officials are attempting to crack down on food truck vendors in the city, which have been allowed to operate without any permits or city-imposed fees.

A popular weekly food truck rally, the Biscayne Triangle Truck Round-Up, draws about 4,000 every Tuesday to the grounds of Johnson & Wales University, 1701 NE 127th St. While some city officials and residents support the community event, they say the city failed in regulating the trucks.

The city council will vote Tuesday on whether to adopt an ordinance that would require food trucks to obtain licenses and special permits for events held in the city.

If the ordinance passes, food truck vendors would be required to pay a $167 annual fee and a one-time $50 fee for a background check.

The council may also consider an additional permit fee that would be used to create programs or incentives for brick-and- mortar restaurants affected by the food trucks.

Councilman Scott Galvin, who proposed the additional fee to assist local restaurant owners, said he did not know how much it would cost yet.

“They show up, they make money and then they go,” said Galvin, noting that restaurants are required to obtain and pay for licenses.

Jack Garabedian, owner of Jefe’s Original Fish Taco and Burger and organizer of the Biscayne Triangle Truck Round Up, said the event does not compete with local businesses. He said he reached out to several restaurants to pass out promotional material to the crowds, though he acknowledged very few took him up on his offer.

“Food trucks have something to offer,” he said.

In Miami, police have shut down food truck roundups on at least two occasions, citing code violations and complaints from residents.

For now, the North Miami ordinance would allow only food truck events at Johnson and Wales University and Florida International University.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/06/23/2281249/north-miami-wants-to-levy-fees.html#ixzz1QGLHuGGv