The Town of Princeton is serving up a new idea.
At a recent special meeting of council, a policy was adopted to allow food trucks and mobile food vendors on municipal and privately-owned property.
“Food trucks are becoming more and more popular,” Mayor Spencer Coyne told the Spotlight, following the meeting June 30. “They will provide the community with variety and provide jobs.”
Previously, there was no bylaw or procedure to allow for food trucks. The policy is a two-year pilot project, after which time the results will be assessed by council.
Coyne said the policy was written to be “as fair as possible to (existing) businesses.”
For example, it prohibits a food truck from operating within 100 metres of an establishment offering similar products.
“We are not, for instance, going to let someone put a BBQ place next to an (existing) BBQ restaurant. We don’t want to put any undue hardship on any of the existing businesses.”
The policy makes provisions for mobile vendors, such as pedal carts or vehicles selling ice cream, as well as for stationary vendors on both public and private lands.
All successful applicants for permission to operate a food truck must have a business license, along with the appropriate health permits, safety certificates and insurance.
The town’s chief administrative officer (CAO) has the discretion to allow food trucks on municipally owned land, subject to conditions.
The CAO must also approve the placement of stationary food trucks on private land, and located only in areas zoned commercial or industrial.
Vendor hopefuls must pay a $50 application fee, a business license fee, and charges ranging between $150 and $350 per month, in advance of operating.
Coyne said he believes the fees are reasonable.
“In some communities they get thousands of dollars a month for their rentals.”
The mayor believes there is a demand for food truck fare, and said he has personally been approached by at least five people requesting to operate a food truck in town.
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