HUDSON — City Council this week approved a three-month moratorium on the enforcement of legislation regulating where food trucks can operate in the municipality.
Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved the moratorium to give the administration time to revise the language to clarify the original intent of the legislation. The moratorium will remain in effect until March 9.
This moratorium on enforcement will allow authorized food trucks to be a part of a city-permitted special event, even though the truck’s location may be within 500 feet of a brick and mortar establishment.
Originally, the food truck legislation was intended to make sure food trucks could not operate within 500 feet of a brick and mortar restaurant unless they were approved to participate in a city-permitted special event, according to city spokesperson Jody Roberts.
However, the way the current language is written, the legislation prevents food trucks from participating in some city-permitted events because the events are occurring within 500 feet of a brick and mortar restaurant.
Councilman Chris Foster (Ward 2) brought the issue to officials’ attention.
Under the current legislation, Foster said the Taste of Hudson event "could no longer happen. That simply wouldn’t ever happen."
"If you think about any sort of event that we have anywhere near downtown Hudson, 500 feet from say, Hudson’s or Kempner’s or anywhere else in downtown Hudson is about two blocks on the other side of this [Town Hall] building [at 27 E. Main St.]. You just simply wouldn’t be able to have any sort of food truck whatsoever, and that was really an unintended consequence."
He noted the ordinance was approved shortly after the most recent Taste of Hudson event.
City Manager Jane Howington said she felt the language in the ordinance "will be pretty easy to fix" because she believed everyone agreed on the intent of the legislation.
Mayor Craig Shubert said it was his understanding that "this was largely an issue of punctuation and maybe some grammar."
Councilwoman Beth Bigham (Ward 4) praised Foster for putting the issue on officials’ radar, and noted that it was "critical" to implement the moratorium with the Christkindlmarkt event set to happen Dec. 13-15.
All food vehicle owners and operators must follow the other sections of the Mobile Food Vehicles legislation that are not covered by the moratorium.