By Dan Benson | SheboyganPress.com
The Sheboygan Common Council on Monday will consider approving a new ordinance that would keep mobile foodtrucks away from festivals and other events like the farmers market at Fountain Park.
Under the ordinance, food vendors would be prohibited from parking within 500 feet of a “fair, farmers market, festival, carnival” or other special event licensed by the city unless the vendor obtains a permit to be part of the event or has permission from the organizers of the event.
They also would be banned from parking within 100 feet of a restaurant without the restaurant owner’s permission. They also would be banned from operating between 2:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. the other days of the week — essentially closing when the bars have to close.
Ald. Jodi Vander Weele, chairman of the city’s Law and Licensing Committee, said the ordinance was drafted because of concerns from event organizers, restaurant owners and police.
“And we’ve had some inquiries recently from people who want to start a mobile food truck so we thought this would be the time to put an ordinance together,” she said. “I think it’s a good ordinance and it’s fair.”
The ordinance applies to a “commercially manufactured, self-contained, motorized, mobile food unit in which ready-to-eat food is cooked, wrapped, packaged, processed, or portioned for service, sale or distribution.”
It would not apply to push cart vendors selling ice cream or popcorn, for whom other regulations exist, Vander Weele said.
The ordinance, which was unanimously recommended for approval by the city Law and Licensing Committee, also would increase the fees paid by vendors from $100 to $500.
Greg Lee, who owns Gyros 2 Go, a mobile food truck, said his only objections to the new ordinance were the fee increase and requirement to close when the bars close.
“My only issue with it, other than the huge increase in the amount I’ll have to pay, is that they want me to close at 2:30 in the morning. That’s generally when I get really busy,” Lee said. “I’m helping keep people off the road and putting something in their stomachs that’s helping them sober up quite a bit.”
Violators of the new ordinance could be fined $100 to $1,000 for each offense.
The Common Council meets at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall.