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New rules for food trucks delayed until next month

Joshua Baethge,
The Anna-Melissa Tribune
Melissa Council Member  Chad Taylor delivers the invocation before the Sept. 22 city council  meeting.

For the second time, the Melissa City Council decided to table a vote on new food truck regulations.

It will again consider the issue during one of its two October meetings.

If approved, the ordinance would create a new Mobile Food Truck/Mobile Food Truck Park land-use category.

New food truck regulations were first considered at the Aug. 25 council meeting.

The item was on the agenda because city officials felt there was a need to update the current regulations, which have been characterized as somewhat vague.

During that meeting, concerns were raised over how specifics time limits could be enforced. Of particular concern was a provision that if a food truck stayed in one spot for more than three months, it would need to apply for permanent zoning through the specific use permit (SUP) process.

Under the latest proposals, that language had been changed to say that the SUP process would need to begin for any trucks that remain in place longer than four days in a seven-consecutive day time period.

During Tuesday’s council meeting, Director of Development and Neighborhood Services Tyler Brewer said he believes that the city is much closer to crafting an ordinance that meets its goals.

Issues related to health, safety and welfare as well as the permitting process, health regulations and sales tax collection have been ironed out. However, there is still work to be done on the land-use part of the ordinance.

The council approved Brewer’s recommendation that the new ordinance be delayed until no later than the Oct. 27 council meeting.

Land-use fees unchanged

In a somewhat procedural move, the council also unanimously voted to keep current land-use assumptions, capital improvement plan and impact fees the same.

State law requires that every five years, the city either update these items or formally vote to keep them the same.

The current impact fees were adopted in 2015 and updated in 2017.

By taking this action, the city can give formal notice of its intent as required by law. This will allow it to continue to levy impact fees that are important for building infrastructure like new roadways and water lines.