New legislation sets out fees, locations for vendors
SACKVILLE, N.B. – Mobile food vendors will soon have some regulations in place to guide their operations in Sackville.
A proposed bylaw passed first reading during town council’s monthly meeting March 10 that sets out provisions for street/mobile vendors on public property.
Coun. Bill Evans said the town is certainly open to these types of enterprises setting up shop in the community but needs to ensure there are proper guidelines in place to manage and regulate them.
“This is not an attempt to prevent this. In fact, we want people to know Sackville is open for business. We want to encourage new business but we want to ensure it’s done fairly,” he said.
Evans said after much discussion with members of the bylaw/policy committee as well as town staff, and research into similar legislation for food trucks in other municipalities, a bylaw was drafted consisting of a required set of conditions now required by the operators.
“This is the result of compromise,” he said, noting that discussions have centered around fees, licensing, designated locations, etc.
Evans said the new bylaw, if approved, will address concerns that have been raised about the fact mobile vendors aren’t required to pay business taxes like those in the commercial districts.
Through an annual application process, vendors will be required to pay a $100 non-refundable application fee as well as a $200 licensing fee to operate in designated locations. As well, they will not be permitted to operate their food trucks on any street or parking space within the town’s business improvement area (the downtown core consisting of a section of Bridge, Main and York Streets).
“It’s a balancing act. We decided we didn’t want to forbid it. We wanted to provide a level playing field for all businesses,” said Evans. “The key is we’re trying to get it right.”
The vendors will need to acquire permission from the town to set up in designated public parking spaces – which, according to Evans, could be in areas such as further up York Street (in front of Convocation Hall) or Main Street (by the swan pond), as well as Lorne Street (by the ball fields) and out by Lillas Fawcett Park.
“Anyplace where there’s public parking, they could set up . . . unless it’s in the BIA.”
Also as part of the application process, vendors must provide details of their operations to the town, including: a description of the types of products being sold; a photo of the stand to be used; the hours of operation; a copy of liability insurance policy; among other things.
There are also a number of conditions which the applicants must follow as per the bylaw, which include:
•Someone must be attending to the stand during business hours
•The stand must be removed and the area cleared at the end of each day, unless other arrangements have been approved
•A litter receptacle must be provided
•The area must be left in a clean and orderly state
•Erect and maintain appropriate safety features such as barriers, pylons or signage
Evans said this bylaw could be waived during certain special events, if approval is granted, such as for Sappyfest or the farmers’ market.
Second and third reading are expected to come forward for final approval during April’s council meeting.