City of Somerville
Massachusetts

Agenda Item
192528
Work Completed
Nov 20, 2012 7:00 PM

II.1 That the City Solicitor immediately draft a City Ordinance for the licensing of food trucks.

Information

Department:Board of AldermenSponsors:Ward Seven Alderman Robert C. Trane, Ward Two Alderman Maryann M. Heuston, Alderman At Large Dennis M. Sullivan
Category:OrderFunctions:Order

Body

That the City Solicitor immediately draft a City Ordinance for the licensing of food trucks.

 

Meeting History

Jan 26, 2012 7:00 PM Video Board of Aldermen Regular Meeting
RESULT:APPROVED
Feb 7, 2012 6:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting
draft Draft

Mr. Shapiro explained that if a vendor had a state license, that vendor could automatically obtain a license in Somerville. Under the proposed change, however, vendors will be required to apply for and obtain a license to function as a hawker or peddler in the city. Mr. Shapiro suggested that a new ordinance be created to deal specifically with food truck vendors.

RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Mar 6, 2012 7:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting
draft Draft

Mr. Shapiro informed the committee that mobile food vendors are currently licensed by the Board of Health and Inspectional Services. He has drafted an ordinance to deal with these vendors, but would like further input from the committee. Alderman White suggested that language be added to the proposed ordinance giving the Board of Aldermen the ability to grant and regulate the licenses with public interest after the requirements of the Board of Health are met. Additionally, the committee would like to have specific requests made as to where these vendors might operate, rather that granting a broad license, and would prefer to ban the use of Styrofoam, encouraging vendors to use compostable items instead.

RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Apr 2, 2012 7:15 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting
draft Draft

Mr. Shapiro presented a proposed ordinance pertaining to the licensing of food trucks. At the committee's request, Mr. Shapiro will investigate the possibility of issuing one day licenses to hawkers and mobile vendors and will add a provision to the ordinance that all vendors be properly registered as vendors. There was a discussion about the Board of Aldermen's authority to limit locations where vendors may operate and Mr. Shapiro will research this matter and provide recommendations to the committee.

RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Apr 24, 2012 6:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting
draft Draft

Mr. Shapiro explained that this proposed ordinance would not apply to temporary event permits as stated in section 8-305 of the Code of Ordinances and he reviewed section 8-308, which deals with the criteria of issuance of the license. Alderman White suggested alternative language to make the ordinance more specific. Mr. Boukili stated that the Administration does not want to treat food trucks and restaurants with comparable requirements differently so as to avoid any challenges down the line. Under the proposal, food truck vendors would not be allowed to operate between 9:00 PM and 8:00 AM. Vendors already licensed would be grandfathered. The committee discussed the use of compostable containers, healthy foods, operating and prohibited locations and flexibility in licensing for special events.

Chairman Gewirtz requested a copy of the food truck vendor application currently in use.

RESULT:LAID ON THE TABLE
May 8, 2012 7:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting
draft Draft

Mr. Shapiro reviewed the draft with the committee and noted that the Board of Aldermen would be the licensing authority under this proposal and would have authority over the locations of operation. The members discussed aspects of the proposal, including operating hours, menu options, locations owned by the state but under the control of the City, prohibited locations and the impact of mobile food vendors on established restaurants in the city. Mr. Ross told that members that he requested input from the Somerville Chamber of Commerce, but has yet to receive a reply. The committee indicated its desire to have a representative from the Chamber of Commerce present at the next committee meeting to discuss this matter. Although this was not a public hearing, vendors present at this meeting were allowed to speak.

RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
May 30, 2012 6:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting
draft Draft

Mr. Shapiro explained that under the city’s current ordinance, if a food vendor has a state license, that vendor is only required to register with the City Clerk in order to operate as a hawker or peddler in Somerville. If a vendor does not have a state license, that vendor would have to apply for a hawker/peddler license with the City Clerk. All food vendors will be subject to this proposed ordinance upon its passage. At the present time, food trucks are regulated by the state and Somerville has no local oversight, however, the city’s Inspectional Services Department can enforce state health code regulations. Mr. Shapiro will research and provide information regarding CORI checks and who regulates push cart vendors. This ordinance would cover push cart vendors. The Administration would like the Board of Aldermen to consider late hours for food vendors after restaurants in the city’s squares close for the evening.

The committee reviewed the proposal, made changes and suggestions and approved the ordinance with minor changes. A final version of the proposed ordinance will be presented to the Board of Aldermen at its next regular meeting.

Alderman Connolly’s motion that the Administration submit a list of proposed pre-approved locations for vendor operations to the Board of Alderman for approval, was approved.

RESULT:APPROVED AS AMENDED
Jun 14, 2012 7:00 PM Video Board of Aldermen Regular Meeting
RESULT:REFERRED FOR RECOMMENDATION
Jul 10, 2012 6:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee of the Whole
draft Draft
RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Oct 1, 2012 6:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee of the Whole
draft Draft
RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Oct 23, 2012 6:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee of the Whole
draft Draft
RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Nov 14, 2012 6:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting
draft Draft

This item is no longer relevant since an ordinance regulating mobile food trucks has been passed.

RESULT:PLACED ON FILE
Nov 20, 2012 7:00 PM Video Board of Aldermen Regular Meeting
RESULT:WORK COMPLETED