The Blue Cow Creperie was
a regular feature of the Cedarburg Farmers Market when
the event was held in the Cultural Center parking lot.
CEDARBURG ó After almost a
year of deliberation, the Common Council
determined Tuesday that mobile vendors,
namely food trucks, will be allowed in at
least some parts of the city.
approved, 43, an ordinance permitting mobile vendors on
nonresidential private property, with the permission of the property
owner, but prohibiting them from public streets. The ordinance will
be effective upon posting.
Up to this
point, the few food trucks that operate in Cedarburg have done so
under direct sellers licenses, though many noted the lax enforcement
of its requirements, such as relocating every 15 minutes.
ordinance isnít bad,Ē resident Stephen Leonard said to the council.
ďI think it could work if it was just enforced.Ē
weíre here tonight,Ē City Attorney Michael Herbrand said, to come up
with a solution and draw a clear line in the sand between direct
sellers and mobile vendors. Herbrand has been working with the
council to draft the new ordinance.
conversation was spurred last May by recommendations from the
Economic Development Board to prohibit mobile vendors on public
property, but the issue has been volleyed between committees and
their respective members as they grappled to balance an interest in
more variety with the prosperity of existing brick and mortars.
Many of these
establishments, especially restaurants in the downtown area, have
said these mobile vendors have a direct effect on their business and
have an unfair advantage. They said this is because vendors donít
have to abide by the strict regulations that exist in the historic
district and can choose their hours; food truck owners asserted that
they have their own set of fees and inspections to adhere to.
Chris Morton of
Mortonís WisconsInn at N56 W6339 Center St. said he already
experiences a direct impact when vendors come in for special events.
making adjustments since music in the park started. It has a direct
effect on business especially when Iím surrounded by them. Iím not
against having (mobile vendors) at certain special events, I just
donít want to see the proliferation of them,Ē he said.
from the festivals group and the cityís parks and recreation
department echoed those concerns, stating much of their operations
rely on revenue from food sales, which would be impacted by
Alderman Mitch Regenfuss, who lobbied for placing a limit on the
number of permits, said the council wants to be mindful of
protecting Cedarburg businesses, but that there is a clear demand
for food trucks. Food truck proponents have also argued that having
them would draw more people and business into the city.
With the new
ordinance, vendors will be required to pay a $100 annual license
fee, which must be based on the cost of issuing a permit. Trucks
will be allowed during festivals, but only within the festival
footprint under the control of the Festivals of Cedarburg
organization. This would also account for vendors working with
Summer Sounds and farmers markets.
Pat Thome and Jack Arnett, who were largely in favor of allowing
mobile vendors, said they thought much of the ordinance would be
voted 4-3 in favor of the final ordinance, with aldermen John
Czarnecki, Dick Dieffenbach and Rick Verhaalen opposed.