More food trucks could be coming to Auburn

A proposed ordinance would make it easier and cheaper for businesses to operate food trucks and similar mobile vendors in Auburn.

Tina Kriss, the city’s business license program coordinator, gave a presentation to the council during its study session Feb. 28 on the proposed ordinance and how it would change the city code.

“The addition seeks to streamline the process and manner of how the city regulates mobile vendors and food truck activities,” Kriss said.

The current process for food truck licensing is slow and expensive because the current regulations require food trucks or mobile vendors to get their license through a temporary-use permit, Kriss said.

If the ordinance passes, it would not only reduce the time and cost for businesses to get up and running, but it would also allow for more short-term business activities, Kriss said.

Food trucks and mobile vendors that operate less than 10 days during a year and aren’t in the same location for more than three consecutive days wouldn’t have to obtain a city business license or temporary use permit, according to the ordinance.

This would make it easier and cheaper for businesses to set up a food truck or similar business for a short period of time.

“When we collect a temporary-use permit, it’s kind of a barrier for a lot of food trucks or vendors to operate for events,” director of community development Jeff Tate said. “Say they’re going to come to the farmers market. Paying $300 to obtain a temporary-use permit is an expensive fee and it drives vendors away.”

Allowing food trucks to use business licenses instead of the temporary-use permit would reduce that fee to around $100, Tate said. Employees of the food trucks would still have to comply with state and county health regulations such as obtaining a food handler’s card, Kriss said.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for them [food trucks] to show up for that one day or three-day event and then they move on to another location,” Tate said.

Tate and Kriss are proposing the council vote on the ordinance during the city council meeting on March 21, Tate said.