City council to serve up food truck regulations

Twinsburg City Hall to reopen to public on April 5.

Ken Lahmers
Special to MyTownNEO

TWINSBURG – City Council likely will take action at its March 23 meeting on an ordinance which would establish regulations governing the operation of food dispensing vehicles.

The ordinance was on second reading at Council’s March 9 session, prior to which Law Director David Maistros made some revisions to the originally introduced legislation. Final revisions could be made before March 23.

The new chapter of ordinances would require a food truck operator to obtain a yearly permit from the building department for $75 and undergo a checklist inspection by the fire department.

An operator would have to inform the city what types of food and beverages would be sold, and show proof of passing county health department inspections, that $1 million of liability insurance is in effect and that permission from a property owner has been obtained.

One of the revisions made to the original legislation is that food vehicles can only be located in commercial districts and are prohibited in residential and industrial districts unless approved as a special event, in which case a special permit is required.

Another change to the ordinance is that no food vehicle can operate before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. at any location unless it is specifically authorized as a special event.

One clause added by Maistros was removed by Council. It would have required that any mobile food vendor with a permit could not operate at any location for more than 10 days out of any 30-day period.

To operate in residential and industrial districts, a vendor would be limited to eight hours and could sell or dispense only to owners, occupants or employees associated with the private property upon which the owner’s consent has been granted or to attendees of a special event.

No mobile vendors could be located within 500 feet of an existing food establishment, but that restriction could be waived if the vendor provides proof that all food establishments within 500 feet do not object. Vendors also could not operate within 150 feet of a primary or secondary school.

Some other requirements are that operators must provide the city with a lease or written consent to use the property, be responsible for collecting and disposing of refuse and not place refuse in any public or private container without permission.

Persons who violate provisions of the chapter would be guilty of a fourth-degree misdemeanor for the first offense and a first-degree misdemeanor for the second and subsequent offenses, and their permits would be revoked.

Mayor Ted Yates said the city could establish a “food truck zone” on the site of the Old School, where more than one food truck could set up at the same time. Another location where that would be possible is the Kent State University parking lot.

OTHER BUSINESS

Council approved the purchase of a 5-ton dump truck from Valley Freightliner, plus other equipment/work related to the purchase, for a total of $192,140.

The breakdown is as follows: $88,876 for the truck, $101,364 for a dump bed, plow, salt spreader, equipment and controls from Concord Road Equipment, $650 for rustproofing from Ziebart of Middleburg Heights and $1,250 for a two-way radio and equipment from B&C Communications.

Council OK’d selling unneeded city equipment via auction on govdeals.com. The items include a fire truck, office furniture and equipment, phones, electronics, police cruiser gear and jewelry.

Several residents were appointed to two committees for the period from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2023. On the parks-recreation panel will be Gary Kleckner, John Blust, Carol Miller and Paul Doxsey. On the Environmental Commission will be Crystal Davis, Peter Flauto, Virginia Schmidt and James Shafer.

Yates announced City Hall will reopen to the public April 5, and spring branch pickup also will start that day. He noted a new fire truck is expected to arrive in mid-April, and the city will begin to recognize small businesses in May.

Contact the newspaper at twinsburgbulletin@recordpub.com.