Pere Marquette Township passes food truck ordinance. 

August 12, 2020

Pere Marquette Township passes food truck ordinance. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

PERE MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — The Pere Marquette Charter Township Board of Trustees passed a mobile food business ordinance during its regular meeting Tuesday, Aug. 11. The ordinance was introduced during the July meeting of the board and was passed unanimously following a public hearing. 

Township Supervisor Jerry Bleau said the ordinance was created because the township’s ordinances currently do not allow for food trucks. Food trucks have been operating under temporary 30 day permits for open air businesses. Bleau open air business permit is limited to one location. The new ordinance allows food trucks to move to other locations within the township without obtaining new permits.

The ordinance, Bleau said, has been in the works since 2018. It allows food trucks to operate for 215 days, April 15 to Nov. 15. If vendors need to operate outside those dates, they may apply for the 30 day open air business permit, Bleau said. The original proposed ordinance, in July, limited operation from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Following feedback from vendors, the longer time frame was added. 

The ordinance states its intent is to encourage “venders who add to the vibrancy and desirability of the township, while providing a framework under which vendors operate…”

The ordinance requires mobile food businesses to obtain a vending permit from the township zoning administrator, which must be displayed on the food vending unit.

It also regulates where mobile food businesses can be located, which are commercial zoning districts C-1 and C-2, along with a section of the township’s industrial district that borders South Pere Marquette Highway. Vendors will not be allowed to operate in the public right-of-way.

There are exemptions to the ordinance:

Existing food businesses, such as restaurants, are not required to obtain permits for a mobile food business on their property.

Schools, charitable or religious organizations do not need permits for mobile food business on their property.

Out door sale of products such as Girl Scout cookies sales or lemonade stands, or similar items sold by minors do not require a permit.

Veterans who have been issued a peddler’s license under Michigan Public Act 359 of 1921 shall not be required to obtain a permit but must comply with other regulations of the ordinance.

The ordinance also regulates signage.

Bleau said some vendors raised concerns because they were unable to attend the meeting Tuesday, for various reasons.

“Though this ordinance has passed, it is a working document,” Bleau said. “If there are concerns, vendors can always talk to me and we can pass those concerns on to the planning commission for consideration of amending the ordinance.” 

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