Mount Vernon rolls back food truck regulations

Mount Vernon rolls back food truck regulations

MOUNT VERNON — City Council members agreed they want more discussion before moving forward with potential food truck legislation.

If, in fact, they are moving forward.

The council discussed the issue for the third time at its council meeting on Monday.

Councilman Mel Severns said there is authority to bring people to the table to discuss it.

“But competition is good, right? Food trucks keep the traffic out of the way…in Leather One or Ariel. They help cut down on some of the traffic,” he said. “They provide resources for people to get food in Mount Vernon, so I do not support imposing too many restrictions. And certainly not without bringing people to the table to discuss it.

Councilman James Mahan said he appreciates the innovation and service the food trucks provide.

“We’ve talked about if they’re on private property, that’s the responsibility of the property owner to decide whether or not they want a food truck on their property,” he said. “Unless there’s something I haven’t seen yet, I’m generally not in favor of imposing more restrictions than we have.”

Councilman Mike Hillier said that according to Fire Prevention Officer Terry Davis, the fire department inspects every food truck it knows of. If he is not aware of this, he is not searched.

Hellyer prefers some sort of organization.

“If someone knocks on your door, they have to get a permit. If someone wants to sell you insurance, they have to get a permit.” “We allow food truck vendors to do whatever they want.”

Mayor Matt Starr said enforcement is always the hard part.

“It’s always about why you create something if you can’t force it,” he said.

Anne Wycent Page, who organizes food truck vendors for special events, is sensitive to the concerns of traditional restaurateurs who pay taxes and other expenses to operate, he noted.

He also said Weisent-Page feels any regulations should apply to all mobile businesses, not just food trucks.

Council members agreed the group should meet after Thanksgiving to further discuss the matter. The group will include restaurant owners, food vendors, city and fire officials.

Donate property

The council gave a second reading of legislation accepting donated property on Prospect Street.

The Klein development was planned in 1999. Two of the lots have a large spring, so there is water constantly flowing from the property to other properties.

“If we don’t maintain or don’t have a road onto the property to maintain, the water goes onto other people’s property and goes down,” City Engineer Brian Paul explained.

The Kline Trust wants to donate the property to the city. Stormwater utilities will own it. The city will keep them.

The pieces are not suitable for building on. However, Paul said construction would represent a worst-case scenario.

“If someone builds on it and diverts the spring onto someone else’s property or away from the collection sewer, other homes could be damaged,” he said. “It would be very easy to divert intentionally or unintentionally.”

Legal Director Rob Broeren said the city owning the lots and maintaining sanitation avoids a lot of problems for other people.

Councilwoman Janice Seafolt agreed.

“If we can get the storm water under control, and we don’t have any issues… I think that’s probably a good thing,” she said.

Councilwoman Tammy Woods said the city shouldn’t maintain it if it’s private property.

Planning and zoning

The council also held a second reading of the rezoning ordinance for 34 acres on upper Gilchrist Road. The property is officially known as Casey’s Way.

The request is to rezone the parcel from R-1 single-family residential to PND (Planned Neighborhood District). Lemon Development is under contract to purchase the land.

Patrick Mackey of Lemmon Development has outlined plans for 156 PND units. The development targets the age of 55+.

Plans call for single-story units, either one or two bedrooms. The roads will be private; Public facilities will be public

Engineer Paul said that if the developer wants to divert roads to the city in the future, the roads must be built according to city standards. If the developer doesn’t build it to city standards, the city will refuse to accept it.

The council will hold a public hearing on the rezoning on Monday, November 27.

Other procedures

Council members also took the following actions:

• Provide a second reading of legislation that would amend the way the city publishes public notices

•Gave a second reading of legislation extending the Coshocton Street Tax Increment Financing District for another 30 years

• Waiving the three readings, approving supplementary appropriations, and disposing of old fire hoses and nozzles

• Giving the first readings to the legislation accepting the annexation of 4 acres owned by the Historical Society and amending the formula for distributing the housing tax in the city.

In a public engagement, Greg Culbertson provided details about Owl Creek Development Company.

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