City Council discusses Food Truck Regulations

City of Cold Lake Council discussed possible regulations on mobile vendors that conduct business within the city limits, at their Corporate Priorities Meeting on March 20th. Mayor of Cold Lake, Craig Copeland said no decision was made Tuesday evening, however vendors can expect the topic and a decision to be made at an upcoming Regular Council Meeting.

“We landed on 50 metres door-to-door from a vendor to a permanent business in the same market,” the mayor explained for example, food trucks would be expected to be at least 50 metres away from a restaurant.

This regulation would go for any mobile vendor, not just food trucks. It would apply for any business that sells the same or similar goods or services.

The draft policy calls for  a provision for vendors to be issued permits to operate within the 50 metre buffer from any business selling similar goods, services or merchandise, if the vendor has a letter of non-objection from all businesses selling similar goods, services or merchandise within 50 metres of the proposed vending location.

There will also be permits that can be pulled, at a lesser cost, for special events. If a vendor comes to Cold Lake for a concert or Canada Day, they would be able to pay a lesser fee for a maximum of three days, per event. These permits would cost $150 per event.

The business licence fee for an annual vendor is recommended at $1,000 for food trucks and $500 for non-food vendors.

The discussions for a regulations on mobile vendors came last year after the City received emails from local business owners. At that time, the City did not have regulations on mobile vendors and found that a lot of communities of equal size did.

“It was unregulated and where [the discussion] came from is concern for the business owners who are paying property taxes in Cold Lake. Someone could pull in a trailer and sell [the same products]. We’re trying to protect the business people who have a storefront.”

With the growing popularity of mobile vendors and the interests of the property tax paying businesses in mind, City Council requested City Administration to draft a policy.

Mayor Copeland anticipates there will be further discussion and a vote on the issue at an upcoming Council Meeting, before the peek vendor season.