Chapter 5.18


5.18.010    Purpose.

5.18.020    Definitions.

5.18.030    Mobile food vendor business – License required – Exemptions.

5.18.040    Display of license.

5.18.050    Restrictions applicable to all mobile food vendors.

5.18.060    Director’s rules.

5.18.070    Mobile food vendor license – Application.

5.18.080    License fee.

5.18.090    General regulations.

5.18.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to allow for mobile food vendors (food trucks) to conduct business within the corporate limits of Lynnwood and to reasonably accommodate new businesses, enhance street vitality, and support entrepreneurship. (Ord. 3343 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3253 § 2 (Exh. B), 2017; Ord. 3175 § 4, 2016)

5.18.020 Definitions.

A. “Cart” means a mobile, nonmotorized vehicle or conveyance which is intended to be pushed, pulled or otherwise used by a mobile food vendor for the transport of food of any name, nature or description.

B. “Mobile food preparation van” means a commercially manufactured motorized vehicle in which ready-to-eat food is cooked, wrapped, packaged, processed or portioned for service, sale or distribution.

C. “Mobile food vendor” means a seller of food from a mobile food preparation van, truck, cart or other vehicle or conveyance, whether upon the public streets, alleys or public property or on private property.

D. “Vending unit” means a mobile food preparation van, truck, cart, or other vehicle or conveyance, or any facility that is not on a permanent foundation that complies with the International Building Code, and which is used for the sale or delivery of food. (Ord. 3343 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3253 § 2 (Exh. B), 2017; Ord. 3175 § 4, 2016)

5.18.030 Mobile food vendor business – License required – Exemptions.

No person, firm or corporation shall engage in a mobile food vendor business without having first obtained a business license from the business license clerk; provided, however, that no license shall be required of the following:

A. Persons, firms or corporations who conduct a casual or isolated sale and who are not engaged in the business of selling the type of food involved.

B. Associations, corporations or organizations not organized for profit, and any community fund or foundation organized and operated exclusively for religious, scientific, public or charitable purposes, no part of the earnings of which ensures to the benefit of any private shareholder, owner, member or individual, and the net earnings of which are devoted exclusively to charitable, educational or recreational purposes.

C. Persons, firms or corporations who conduct the sale of seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables that are unprepared and similar agricultural products, as exempted by RCW 36.71.090.

D. Any “peddler,” as the term is defined in Chapter 5.20 LMC, that is licensed under that same chapter.

E. Any mobile food vendor operating at a special event approved by the city under Chapter 5.30 LMC or an event sponsored by or held in conjunction with the city.

F. The license required under this chapter is separate from the license required under Chapter 5.06 LMC. (Ord. 3343 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3253 § 2 (Exh. B), 2017; Ord. 3175 § 4, 2016)

5.18.040 Display of license.

All mobile food vendor licenses shall be prominently displayed upon all carts, vehicles or locations from which a mobile food vendor sells products. (Ord. 3343 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3253 § 2 (Exh. B), 2017; Ord. 3175 § 4, 2016)

5.18.050 Restrictions applicable to all mobile food vendors.

A. Mobile food vending on public streets and public rights-of-way within the corporate limits of the city shall not be permitted unless approved as an authorized participant in a city-approved special event, including a festival, sports tournament or similar activity as authorized under Chapter 5.30 LMC.

B. Mobile food vending to serve local businesses’ employees at the local businesses’ location shall be permitted when authorized by the business or businesses, such as within the City Center, for the period of time that it takes to set up, serve, and close up the food service.

C. A mobile food vendor shall not obstruct or cause to be obstructed the passage of any pedestrian or vehicle on any public sidewalk, street, fire lane, or any other public right-of-way, including obstructions caused by customer queues or customers consuming any food sold by the mobile food vendor at or near the place where the items are being offered for sale. No items may be offered or sold, and no customers served, in any traveled portion of a public roadway.

D. A mobile food vendor shall not sell or deliver any food from the mobile food vendor’s vending unit, if the vending unit is within 100 feet of the entrance of any business establishment which is open for business and offers similar food for sale, without the consent of said business.

E. If a mobile food vendor will be utilizing an external propane tank (not mounted on the mobile food preparation van), external power connections and/or tent structures, the mobile food vendor will be subject to additional review by the Lynnwood fire department.

F. Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, the director is authorized to adopt rules relating to the time, place, and manner in which a nonprofit organization may vend food in which the organization’s political, religious, sociological, or ideological message is inextricably intertwined if the sale exercises the permittee’s rights guaranteed by the United States or the Washington Constitution. Such rules may address the issuance and duration of permits, the size and other equipment used, their siting and location, the type of items offered for sale, advertising and posting of prices, the display of licenses, the exclusion of ineligible merchandise, the documentation to accompany applications for registration. (Ord. 3343 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3253 § 2 (Exh. B), 2017; Ord. 3175 § 4, 2016)

5.18.060 Director’s rules.

The director may promulgate rules to implement this chapter. The rules may address the subjects identified in this chapter and other subjects the director believes may aid in the implementation of this chapter. (Ord. 3343 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3253 § 2 (Exh. B), 2017; Ord. 3175 § 4, 2016)

5.18.070 Mobile food vendor license – Application.

A. The submittal requirements for business license review shall include the following:

1. A site plan, a simple sketch of the site layout, depicting the following:

a. Ingress and egress; and

b. Location of the vending unit on the property on which food will be offered for sale.

2. A photograph of the vending unit, proposed signs, and any equipment.

3. Written approval by the Snohomish health district that the food preparation and service comply with health regulations.

4. Evidence of a current state of Washington vehicle registration.

5. A written plan documenting appropriate disposal of wastewater generated by the vending unit. Grease shall be properly disposed of per adopted Washington State health regulations.

6. Documentation that the vending unit has been approved by the State of Washington Department of Labor and Industries.

7. Evidence of necessary approvals from the Lynnwood building and fire departments in the event that external combustible fuels, external power connections and/or tent structures are proposed when operating under a special event permit per Chapter 5.30 LMC.

B. The mobile food vendor shall comply with the standards of the State of Washington Department of Labor and Industries for electrical service to the mobile food preparation van. In no event shall the mobile food vendor locate electric lines overhead or on the ground surface in any location in which the public has access.

C. The mobile food vendor must obtain and provide proof of written permission from the property owner for each location at which the mobile food vendor proposes to offer food for sale. This includes written permission for the mobile food vendor’s location on the site, and for the mobile food vendor’s staff to use the property owner’s restrooms. No portable restrooms are allowed on the site; provided, that a portable restroom may be approved for interim use if there are no permanent restrooms available from an on-site business, as long as it is located at least 120 feet from an arterial street and screened. (Ord. 3343 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3253 § 2 (Exh. B), 2017; Ord. 3175 § 4, 2016)

5.18.080 License fee.

Business license fees for mobile food vendors shall be in the amount stated in Chapter 3.104 LMC. The city business license will serve as evidence that the applicant has applied for and obtained a Washington State Department of Revenue business registration number. (Ord. 3343 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3253 § 2 (Exh. B), 2017; Ord. 3243 § 2, 2017; Ord. 3175 § 4, 2016)

5.18.090 General regulations.

A. The mobile food vendor shall leave the site clean and vacant each day, including picking up trash and litter generated by the mobile food vendor’s customers.

B. The use of any portion of the vending unit as living or sleeping quarters is prohibited.

C. All attachments to the vending unit, including but not limited to signs, lights, overhangs, and awnings, shall be maintained in such a manner as to not create a hazard to pedestrians, customers or vehicles. Flashing lights and similar displays are prohibited.

D. All exterior trash receptacles not intended for customer use shall be screened from public view and securely covered.

E. Wastewater.

1. The mobile food vendor shall install an appropriate grease trap in the vending unit, and shall maintain the grease trap.

2. Grease shall be properly disposed of per adopted Washington State health regulations. Wastewater generated by the vending unit shall be disposed of in a proper manner and documented.

F. One portable pop-up 10-foot-by-12-foot tent or umbrella may be used for cover for patrons, or up to three tables with beach type umbrellas. Cooking shall not take place under any tent. Umbrellas and canopies must be removed at the end of each day.

G. The hours of operation for mobile vending are limited to between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

H. Mobile food vendors shall not use amplification or noise-making devices and shall comply with Chapter 10.12 LMC.

I. The owner of the real property on which a mobile food vendor is located shall be responsible for overall site maintenance. The property owner shall be responsible for the mobile food vendor’s compliance with the provisions of this chapter with respect to the mobile food vendor’s operation on the owner’s property.

J. Mobile food vendors may not serve alcoholic beverages.

K. All mobile food vendors shall comply with all laws, rules and regulations regarding food handling, and all mobile food preparation vans and motor vehicles used by mobile food vendors shall comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations respecting such vehicles as established by the Snohomish County health department, the Washington State Motor Vehicle Code, and any applicable sections of the city code regarding the operation of the business. (Ord. 3343 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3253 § 2 (Exh. B), 2017; Ord. 3175 § 4, 2016)