City cinches food truck operations

Xavier Smith • Updated May 16, 2018 at 12:00 AM

The Lebanon City Council took its first action in regulating food and ice cream trucks in the city Tuesday during its biweekly meeting at Lebanon Town Hall.

The group approved on first reading changes to city codes that adds guidelines and regulations to mobile food and ice cream trucks, which councilors said have become more popular in the city recently.

The ordinance outlines permit fees, restrictions, time allowances and other guidelines for mobile operators. 

The primary additions include permit fees and restrictions on operating hours and storage. 

Food and ice cream truck owners must obtain a permit, which is $25 for one day, $50 for three days and $100 for 10 days. Owners can also obtain an annual permit for $100 if they have a brick and mortar location, and $300 for mobile eateries. 

Owners are allowed to operate food and ice cream trucks from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with the exception of train stations, with owners allowed to operate on-site within 30 minutes of a train’s arrival and departure. 

Food trucks must also move every day, which outlaws overnight storage on the same site the food truck operates. Overnight storage is restricted to the owner’s permanent business or residence.

Any food truck that operates at a location for more than three hours must have access to an indoor restroom for employees, and they cannot operate at a vacant lot, unless they are next to a construction site. 

Additionally, all utilities to operate the truck must be contained on the vehicle, outlawing outside grills and smokers. Tables and chairs are also restricted if the owners vend on public property, while two tables and eight chairs are allowed if vending on private property.

The restrictions do not apply to the Wilson County James E. Ward Ag Center or any city-sponsored event. 

The guidelines will take effect July 1 if approved on second reading.

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