Sycamore City Council rethinking food truck regulations

November 30, 2018

SYCAMORE – In what feels like the dead of winter, the Sycamore City Council is thinking ahead to warmer weather as members consider reworking city codes regarding food truck vendors.

The City Council previously discussed the matter during its Nov. 19 meeting, where City Manager Brian Gregory said city staff recommended that the council create mobile food vendor regulations for special event permits and fixed location permits. He said those regulations differ from the peddler’s licenses food truck vendors currently must obtain from the city that require a background check and selling in a commercially zoned area.

“So if there were changes that any practicing mobile food vendor would need to make, they’re aware of them several months before warm weather and can make adjustments accordingly,” Gregory said.

Gregory said the peddler’s license costs $50 a year, plus $25 to $29 for a background check. The current ordinance includes requirements for both special events and fixed locations such as only being allowed in central and highway business districts except the downtown area.

The current ordinance reads that food trucks are not allowed during the Sycamore Farmer’s Market at Elm and Somonauk streets, for example, but they are allowed on a special event permit basis for that event, Gregory said. He said the new chapter would better address those potential discrepancies.

“One of the things we’re trying to do is bring some congruency between what’s been in practice, our goals and expectations and then what our current code says,” Gregory said.

Gregory said the new ordinance chapter would require food trucks to meet public safety standards including health, sanitation, fire and life safety requirements that are similar to regulations brick-and-mortar restaurants must adhere to. Currently, food trucks must meet DeKalb County Health Department food safety standards for those types of units.

Gregory said mobile food vendors also will be required to keep gas or fuels separated from the cooking and serving area and install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Gregory said the proposed ordinance will be up for consideration again during the council’s meeting scheduled for

7 p.m. Monday at Sycamore Center,

308 W. State St.

Update hourly