Chapter 5.04
MOBILE FOOD UNITS

Sections:

5.04.010    Definitions.

5.04.020    Permit required and display of permit.

5.04.030    Standards.

5.04.040    Permit application—Contents.

5.04.050    Permit fee and renewal.

5.04.060    Revocation of permit.

5.04.070    Compliance with other regulations and agencies.

5.04.010 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

“Food” shall have its usual and ordinary meaning, and shall include all items designed for human consumption, including, but not by way of limitation, candy, gum, popcorn, hot dogs, sandwiches, peanuts, soft drinks and dairy products.

“Mobile food unit” or “food cart” means a vendor or seller of food from a motorized vehicle, trailer, push cart, or other conveyance upon the public streets, alleys, public property of the city, or upon private property. The mobile food units must have wheels attached and be readily movable; otherwise they are considered structures and must meet applicable building codes and zoning codes, as well as connecting to city sewer, water, and other necessary utilities. Mobile food units may be parked at a location as a permanent establishment as long as the codes and conditions in this chapter are satisfied and are reviewed and renewed annually.

“Special event” means any event for which a special event permit has been issued pursuant to Chapter 8.36 BGMC. (Ord. 11-08 § 1 (part), 2011)

5.04.020 Permit required and display of permit.

A.    No person, firm or corporation shall engage in the business of a mobile food unit without having first obtained a permit issued by the community development department. A city business license shall also be required per Chapter 5.03 BGMC. This chapter shall not apply to vendors operating in conjunction with, and at the location of, a farmers’ market or special event.

B.    All necessary licenses and permits for mobile food units shall be prominently displayed or made readily available upon request. (Ord. 11-08 § 1 (part), 2011)

5.04.030 Standards.

No mobile food unit shall conduct business in the city unless it is in full compliance with the following standards:

A.    Mobile food units shall not conduct business in any residential zone with the exception of mobile ice cream sales and food delivery related sales; provided, that these vehicles are not parked in a stationary location;

B.    Shall not operate on city-owned property, public right-of-way, sidewalks, or portions thereof, unless permission is granted from the city in the form of right-of-way encroachment permit, indemnification agreement, or other written agreement. The abutting private property owner must also grant permission;

C.    Shall be parked or operated in full compliance with the traffic and sidewalk ordinances of the city;

D.    Shall not obstruct the passage on any sidewalk, travel lane, alley or any other public place, by causing people to congregate at or near the place where any article is being sold or offered for sale;

E.    Shall receive a written permission from a property owner for business conducted on private property;

F.    Shall not conduct business within one hundred feet of any restaurant, cafe, or eating establishment which is open for business if selling food or food items, unless said business authorizes a mobile food unit to conduct business near their establishment; or in a portion of the public right-of-way abutting private property or public property without the permission of the property owner or authorized agent; or within three hundred feet of any space for which a special event permit has been obtained during the course of a public celebration when organizations are permitted to engage in the sale of merchandise and food in such park or public space for a fee, unless the mobile food unit obtains written permission from the coordinator of the special event and this written authorization is posted while operating during the special event; or within three hundred feet of any city-authorized concession stand in any public park of the city during times other than during the course of a public celebration except as approved by the parks and recreation director of the city;

G.    If a restaurant, cafe, or eating establishment is established within one hundred feet of an existing food cart, the food cart may be required to move at the time of annual renewal unless permission is granted to remain from the new restaurant, cafe, or eating establishment;

H.    No sidewalk or street congestion or obstructions shall result from the mobile food unit to the degree that it creates a safety concern as determined by the city police or community development departments. The operator of such unit is required to take immediate action if such congestion or obstruction occurs;

I.    The area shall be kept clean of tripping hazards, rubbish, garbage, junk, waste paper, plastic, styrofoam cups, sacks, food and other waste. The license holder shall be responsible to keep the area clean. The area to be kept clean shall include the area immediately surrounding sidewalks and public streets. Each business shall carry a suitable container for placement of such litter by customers or other persons. Any spills must promptly be cleaned up;

J.    The units shall be entirely self-contained with no storage containers, buckets, or other clutter around the food cart, with the exception of a waste container, chairs and tables for seating, or a structure for rain cover or shade that is either exempt from building codes or complies with building codes;

K.    If electrical cords or hoses are connected to the mobile food unit, these must be routed in such a manner that they are behind the unit, do not cross travel lanes, and do not create a tripping hazard;

L.    Shall be conducted on a paved or concrete surface. The mobile food unit shall be conducted and oriented in such a manner that a disabled person may access their unit via a sidewalk or from an existing parking lot;

M.    Shall be set back five feet from all property lines and other food units and ten feet from buildings;

N.    Sign requirements shall be the same as the underlying zoning district;

O.    Any structures associated with the food units, such as decks, awnings, canopies, seating areas, etc., shall be limited to one hundred twenty square feet; the permit holder shall contact the building official to determine whether a building permit is required;

P.    The maximum number of food units shall be limited to five citywide. Allocation of permits is based on the first five submitted applications and these must be renewed each year to maintain permit vesting. Any transfer or purported transfer of such permit shall be deemed a violation of this chapter and shall void the permit;

Q.    If a food cart is established on existing parking spaces in a parking lot, it must be demonstrated that sufficient parking spaces are available for the existing business establishment. This may be demonstrated by parking standards listed in the city’s code or by actual parking demand on the site.

Failure to comply with any of these laws may result in revocation of the permit. (Ord. 11-08 § 1 (part), 2011)

5.04.040 Permit application—Contents.

A.    The application for mobile food unit permit shall state the name and address of the applicant; the vehicle license numbers of all vehicles or a description of the conveyance from which the applicant proposes to conduct business; a description of the food proposed to be sold by the applicant; and the place or places where the applicant proposes to engage in business.

B.    The applicant shall sign the application along with the property owner authorizing its placement on or near their property.

C.    A narrative shall accompany the application describing compliance to the applicable standards listed in BGMC 5.04.030.

D.    If the applicant proposes to conduct a business in a permanent location, the application shall be accompanied by a site plan indicating compliance with BGMC 5.04.050.

E.    Such application shall be accompanied with the permit fee.

F.    The community development director may request a background investigation pursuant to BGMC 5.12.040 and deny a request if deemed appropriate. (Ord. 11-08 § 1 (part), 2011)

5.04.050 Permit fee and renewal.

A.    The initial permit fee and renewal fee shall be established by resolution.

B.    The community development department will track permits and notify permit holders of their annual renewal fee prior to their twelve-month expiration. (Ord. 12-19 § 1, 2012: Ord. 11-08 § 1 (part), 2011)

5.04.060 Revocation of permit.

A.    The permit of a mobile food unit, after notice in writing and an opportunity to be heard by the community development director, may be revoked, and such mobile food unit shall not be entitled to a subsequent permit to engage in business as a mobile vendor for one year after such revocation or as deemed applicable by the director, for any of the following reasons:

1.    Fraud or misrepresentation contained in the application for the permit;

2.    Fraud or misrepresentation, or false or misleading statements, made in the course of conducting the permitted business;

3.    Cited violation from another agency, such as the county health or fire district;

4.    Failure to pass a background investigation, if requested, may be grounds to deny or revoke a permit pursuant to BGMC 5.12.040;

5.    The conduct of business in areas prohibited by this chapter; or

6.    Any other violation of this chapter.

B.    The decision of the director shall be final subject only to the right of the permit holder to appeal said decision to the hearing examiner within fourteen days of the decision and accompanied by an appeal fee established by resolution. (Ord. 11-08 § 1 (part), 2011)

5.04.070 Compliance with other regulations and agencies.

Prior to city issuance of a permit, all mobile food units engaged in the sale of food shall comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations regarding food handling, and all vehicles or conveyances used for the sale of food or merchandise by mobile food units shall comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations respecting such vehicles or conveyances as established by the city of Battle Ground, Clark County health department, Clark County fire and rescue, the Washington State Motor Vehicle Code, and the Battle Ground Municipal Code. (Ord. 11-08 § 1 (part), 2011)