November 23, 2020

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Bay City sends food truck ordinance back to the kitchen for reworking

BAY CITY, MI – A proposed ordinance to regulate food trucks operating in Bay City is on hold for some rewording.

The Bay City Commission met virtually on Monday, Nov. 16, to consider a new ordinance that would set a batch of guidelines for food trucks in the city.

The proposed ordinance states that anyone operating a food truck within the city will be required to obtain a specific annual or daily license from the city clerk. To get a license, food truck operators would need to provide basic personal and contact information, a description of the food preparation methods and the intended menu, information on the food truck including its dimensions, proposed hours of operation, plans for utility usage and access, and all copies of all permits as required by the Bay County Health Department. Applicants would also need to produce proof of insurance.

Commissioner Jesse Dockett made a motion during the meeting to pull the ordinance from the consent agenda and to send it back to staff after expressing his concerns with the ordinance as presented, especially regarding portions of the ordinance that touch on commercial versus residential zoning in regards to where food trucks can operate and distancing restrictions.

“The goal of this is not to regulate as much as possible, at least from my point of view, what I’m trying to accomplish is to allow them a framework to exist,” said Dockett.

The ordinance also proposes a restriction where mobile food vehicles cannot be parked within 150 feet of an existing brick-and-mortar restaurant when that facility is open to the public for business. Dockett said that he did a bit of measuring and determine that the 150 foot restriction would make it hard for the food trucks due to the number of restaurants in Bay City.

“It would make it very difficult for these to operate,” he said.

In conjunction with the ordinance, the commission will need to evaluate a set of fees that go along with it when it is brought back to the table.

The proposed fees are as follows:

– On City Property: $100 annually

– On City Property: $25 daily

– On Private Property: $50 annually

– On Private Property: $15 daily

If approved after being brought back to the commission, the ordinance would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021. Click here to read the entire proposed ordinance.

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