State College plans to ease restrictions on food trucks
Food trucks will have more opportunities to do business at State College, pending the approval of the ordinance changes by the borough council next week.
Council will vote at its Monday meeting to update the ordinance to allow “mobile food hawkers” in residential areas and borough parks, with an approved special event license. Currently, they are only permitted on private land in the borough’s commercial districts.
Food trucks will continue to be required to be licensed by the borough as a mobile retail food facility.
Borough manager Tom Fountaine said the original ordinance was enacted to regulate food service trucks, but as they gained popularity some aspects of the measure proved to be too restrictive or became obsolete.
“One of the things we’ve come across over the past year is that we have limits on where these food trucks are allowed to operate and we have events… in areas where they’re off-limits where they would like. be able to use food trucks for various activities, ”said Fountaine.
Because a special event app is required, food trucks cannot become everyday devices doing business when parked on neighborhood streets. But they will be able to participate in special events where they were not previously allowed to do so, such as block parties and functions in churches outside of commercial districts.
Recently, requests to have food trucks at a religious event, Welch Pool and real estate auction had to be rejected because they were not allowed under the ordinance.
“I think this is a very good ordinance change as it allows for more flexibility and the removal of overly restrictive geographic restrictions on food trucks, which are very popular,” City Councilor Katherine Yeaple said. “I’d like to have them on my street at a block party. With that… restriction lifted in the ordinance, it’s allowed. So I’m all for it.”
Under the amended ordinance, food trucks could operate between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m., except in shopping areas where there are no time restrictions.
The ordinance will continue to prohibit “street food vendors,” as the ordinance calls it, from setting up in parking spaces or public roads, although vendors such as ice cream trucks cannot. be stopped in the street along the sidewalk only if a sale is in progress.
At a meeting in April, the State College Board of Health unanimously recommended the changes to the ordinance to the board for approval.
“I love food trucks and can’t wait to see them in churches and street parties,” said City Councilor Theresa Lafer. “It’s been long overdue. I know I’m not the only one feeling this and I’m really happy to see that we’ve managed to clean up this amendment and open it.
“I see that spending it next week won’t be a problem, at least from my point of view. “
The borough council will meet on June 21 at 7 p.m.