Roseville City Council to consider amendment to food truck ordinance
Mobile food vendors seem to be all the rage, but for some Roseville business owners these trucks are causing a lot of rage.
A few business owners in the historic district have asked the city to adopt stricter regulations in its Downtown Code governing open air and mobile food vendors. They say the presence of food trucks has caused a drop in sales for brick and mortar businesses.
According to three business owners, a mobile food truck vendor has been setting up shop on Main Street in Old Town during peak weekend evening hours. There is also an approved hot dog vendor operating at the corner of Main and Lincoln streets on most weekends.
Roseville City Council will vote on amending the Downtown Code ordinance during tonight’s meeting. They will consider expanding the existing requirement of a 100-foot separation from an open air vendor and a permanent business that sells the same “item” to include “food and beverage item.”
Scott Alvord, president of the Downtown Roseville Merchants Association, said he hasn’t been approached by any business owners with these concerns.
“I’d be surprised that merchants would be against their presence in the downtown because most of these gourmet food trucks have such a crazy, fanatical following of people that they bring a crowd with them wherever they go,” Alvord said. “These followers often enjoy wandering in and out of nearby businesses.”
He said the problem likely occurs when a food truck selling pizza, for instance, parks outside a pizza parlor. This dilemma needs to be addressed, he said.
“We definitely don’t want to hurt our local businesses, but we need to consider that these trucks are quite a fad right now and they will bring new shoppers to the areas in which they come,” Alvord said.
In a November letter to Roseville City Council, Teri Merryweather and Kathy Garner of Smokin Hot Dog on Lincoln Street complained of how open air vendors and food trucks are affecting their business.
On two Saturday evenings in October, when a food truck was present, the hot dog eatery brought in less than $100 each night, instead of the usual $250 to $300, according to the letter.
“We are a brick and (mortar) business, paying taxes, rent, utilities and we are not breezing in taking away an established business’s customers and breezing out,” they wrote. “We choose to be here for the long haul. Now it is apparent that this might not be our reality.”
City staff is recommending against significant changes after considering the limited number of food trucks that frequent downtown and research into other jurisdictions. Plus state vehicle code limits local jurisdictions’ governing ability, and prohibiting these trucks would likely result in legal action, according to the staff report.
The council meeting starts at 7 p.m. tonight at Civic Center, 311 Vernon St. in Roseville.