OBERLIN — The city will discuss today amending a law that would make it illegal for an ice cream truck to operate in Oberlin without a permit.
In 2015, the city created rules and regulations for mobile food establishments but excluded ice cream trucks from those rules.
In a memo to City Council, Carrie Handy, director of planning and development, said she now wants to apply those rules to ice cream trucks because “it is desirable to at least know who is vending to our community’s children.”
The other proposed changes to the law include allowing places such as schools and churches to have food trucks at events and allow for businesses to bring in food trucks for employee lunches.
Handy said vendors have requested this in Oberlin’s industrial park.
Oberlin restaurants that operate a food truck on their property would also need to apply for a permit if the new rules pass.
Handy said this is for “safety reasons” so that all mobile food establishments would undergo inspections required for a permit.
The proposed amendments also change the appeals process. If a food truck is denied a permit, the owner would need to take it up with City Council and not the zoning board.
The changes to the law would impose stricter penalties for breaking the laws.
“Mobile food vending operations are becoming increasingly popular in many cities for a variety of reasons,” Handy wrote. “Possible community benefits include business growth, job opportunities and a sense of vitality in the business district. Such uses, however, require careful consideration in the development of regulations to ensure that operations do not result in negative impacts in the community, especially in public safety.”
Council will discuss the amendments to the ordinance at its meeting at 7 p.m. today.