City loosens rules for ‘food trucks’

 The creative design agency BLDG created posters to advertise a regular event featuring food trucks in Covington several years ago. 

Pilot program allows more locations, longer hours

COVINGTON, Ky. - Covington has loosened its regulations governing mobile food vendors - aka "food trucks" - to let them operate for longer hours and at more locations in the city.
The Covington Board of Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved two ordinances related to food trucks.
Commissioner Michelle Williams - who's been a strong advocate for the concept - said mobile vendors would complement Covington's wide array of unique restaurants and add to the City's already strong reputation as the place to eat.
"There's a big buzz in the Cov for food trucks," Williams said on Tuesday night. "I welcome you, I want you to come, and (by the way) I'd like to see a taco truck here. And a double-decker (sandwich) truck. And a dessert truck."
City Solicitor Michael Bartlett called the ordinances a "pilot program to see what's going to work and what's not."
"We tried to come up with reasonable regulations that would allow entrepreneurs to operate while mitigating any potential negative impacts," he said.
Operators would need to apply for an annual permit, costing $500, that would give them first-come, first-served access to designated areas in the public right of way (i.e. along certain streets) or in City-owned parking lots. Ten percent of the fee would go to the City's Motor Vehicle Parking Authority to reimburse it for loss of revenue from the occupied parking spots.

The City is setting up the process to issue the permits and will publicize it when it’s finished.
Vendors would be able to sell food between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. with the trucks allowed on the premises a half hour before and a half hour after those hours. In other words, the trucks couldn't "camp out" for days at a time. The number of trucks at any time would be limited to three in any single area.
The permitted areas: 
  • Philadelphia Street between Fourth and Seventh streets in MainStrasse Village.
  • Madison Avenue between RiverCenter Boulevard and Eighth Street.
  • Seventh Street between Washington Street and Madison Avenue, near Braxton Brewing.
  • Eighth Street between Greenup and Garrard streets, near Randolph Park.
  • Southern Avenue between Church Street and Caroline Avenue in Latonia, at Ritte's Corner.
  • Main Street between West 11th Street and ML King Jr. Boulevard, behind the new Kenton County offices.
  • And in the parking lot at Bill Cappel Sports Complex in Latonia. 
The City previously allowed food trucks only in limited, privately owned locations and during limited hours.
The Commission has also set in motion a request to change the City's zoning code to further expand permitted locations to include additional privately owned lots, Bartlett said.
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