City asking for public comment on upcoming Food Truck policy

December 23, 2013

The City of Ithaca is asking the community for comments on its plan to establish a food truck policy for streets and parks within the City limits. Late-afternoon public meetings to solicit input on the plan will be held Monday, December 23rd, and Monday, January 13th, in Common Council chambers.

The Good Truck parked for a summer behind The Westy. 14850 Photo.The Good Truck parked for a summer behind The Westy. 14850 Photo.City government has moved to develop a policy in the wake of a proliferation of food trucks in Ithaca over the last few years, which, among other issues, led to questions of fairness in treatment of newcomers to the scene vs. the trucks that have operated for decades and were "grandfathered" in their spots.

Ithaca officials say their policy won't affect food trucks, carts, or stalls on private property, such as the Good Truck parking behind the Westy for weekends or next to The Piggery for their grand opening, or the Circus Truck operating in a privately owned parking lot. It's also not intended to cover special events like the Ithaca Festival, where vending permits are handled separately.

The City says the new policy will cover six curbside locations near neighborhood parks, six curbside locations in business district and college residential neighborhoods, and additional spots in Stewart Park and Cass Park. The policy would limit vending at neighborhood parks to lunch and dinner hours, one day per week, similar to the weekly Wednesday evening "Food Truck Roundup" held at Thompson Square Park this summer. Vending hours near commercial and college neighborhoods could extend late into the night, as with the longstanding Hot Truck and Louie's Lunch vendors near Cornell residence halls.

Fees for the locations along City streets would be based on parking rates, and would be full hourly rates in commercial and residential areas, and a discounted rate near neighborhood parks.

The 5pm meetings this Monday and on January 13th will be in the Common Council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, at 108 East Green Street. Those who'd like to attend should allow time to pass through building security at the entrance to City Hall.

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