Mobile Food Truck Ordinance
On April 4, 2011, the Boston City Council passed an ordinance to expand access to food trucks in Boston and into the City's neigborhoods.
On April 4, 2011, the Boston City Council passed an ordinance to expand access to food trucks in Boston and into the City's neigborhoods.
CITY OF BOSTON
IN THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND ELEVEN
An Ordinance Promoting Economic Development and the Food Truck Industry in the City of Boston
|WHEREAS,||The food service industry may be the world's most widespread industry, including restaurants establishments such as fast-food eateries, formal dining and mobile trucks; and,|
|WHEREAS,||According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the food services and drinking places industry ranks among the Nation's leading employers with nearly 10 million wage and salary jobs; and,|
|WHEREAS,||Recently, mobile food units have become extremely popular and profitable in urban settings such as Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Miami, Austin, Portland and Washington D.C. to name a few; and,|
|WHEREAS,||The mobile food industry has the unique potential to create new employment opportunities, small business growth and favorable conditions for culinary entrepreneurs in Boston and its neighborhoods; and,|
|WHEREAS,||According to the National Restaurant Association, there is an increasing demand, particularly among people 18 to 44, for freshly prepared, restaurant-quality food that can be had quick and cheap; and,|
|WHEREAS,||Research has revealed that cities around the country have, at best, made incremental strides in regulating the complexities of the mobile food vendor industry, including efforts to find solutions to problems created by the industry, such as issues around parking, traffic and waste disposal; and,|
|WHEREAS,||Vendors in the mobile industry have faced complex rules and regulations in other communities, the following language is being set forth to streamline administrative processes, effectively work with the industry and secure the highest quality of life for all Bostonians; NOW,|
Be it ordained by the City Council of Boston, as follows that the City of Boston Code be amended by adding the following ordinance:
CBC Chapter XVII is hereby amended by striking out Section 17-10 RESERVED in its entirety and inserting in place thereof the following:--
17-10 Permitting and Regulation of Mobile Food Trucks
When used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms shall
have the following meanings:
|a.||The Committee shall mean the Commissioner, the Director of Food Initiatives, and the Departments, as defined.|
|b.||Commissioner shall mean the Commissioner of Public Works of the City of Boston or his or her designee.|
|c.||Departments shall mean the Transportation Department, the Inspectional Services Department, the Police Department, the Fire Department, and the Assessing Department, all of the City of Boston.|
|d.||Food Establishment shall mean a business operation that stores, prepares, packages, serves, vends or otherwise provides food for human consumption as set forth in the State Sanitary Code 105 CMR 590.002.|
|e.||Mobile Food Vehicle shall mean a food establishment that is located upon a vehicle, or which is pulled by a vehicle, where food or beverage is cooked, prepared and served for individual portion service, such as a mobile food kitchen; provided however that a mobile food vehicle shall not be considered a food service establishment for the purposes of CBC 18-1.6(39).|
|f.||Mobile Food Truck shall mean a mobile food vehicle.|
|g.||Mobile Food Commissary shall mean a licensed food establishment that a mobile food truck reports to twice daily for all food and supplies and for all cleaning and sanitizing of units and equipment.|
|a.||The provisions of this section shall apply to mobile food operations engaged in the business of cooking, preparing, and distributing food or beverage with or without charge from mobile food trucks on or in public, private or restricted spaces. This section shall not apply to canteen, coffee, or ice cream trucks that move from place to place and are stationary in the same location for no more than thirty (30) minutes at a time or food vending push carts and stands.|
|b.||The provisions of this section shall not apply to mobile food operations that receives a temporary event permit issued by the Public Works Department.|
17-10.3 Mobile Food Trucks Committee
|a.||There shall be within the City of Boston a Mobile Food Trucks Committee consisting of the Public Works Department, the Transportation Department, the Inspectional Services Department, the Police Department, the Fire Department, the Director of Food Initiatives and the Assessing Department for the purpose of reviewing applications for mobile food truck permits and establishing rules and regulations as appropriate.|
|b.||The Committee may work with an industry-led taskforce in developing acceptable routes of operation throughout the city and establishing industry standards, such as the use of global positioning system (GPS) devices and other matters.|
|c.||The Committee may work with applicants for Mobile Food Truck permits and renewals to encourage the following:|
|i.||Sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, including the use of energy-efficient vehicles,|
|ii.||Charitable components to the business of operation,|
|iii.||School nutrition programs or healthy food choices,|
|iv.||Programs for children or the homeless,|
|v.||Other socially responsible practices and programs,|
|vi.||Routes that provide access to underserved neighborhoods of the city, and|
|vii.||The use of food commissaries within the city.|
17-10.4 Mobile Food Truck Permit Required
|a.||No person or business entity, including a religious or charitable organization, shall operate a mobile food truck in any public, private or restricted space without a permit issued by the Committee.|
|b.||A mobile food truck permit is required for each and every mobile food truck.|
17-10.5 Application for a Mobile Food Truck permit
|a.||Single Application. There shall be made available by the Commissioner a single application form to apply for each mobile food truck permit. The application shall provide the following:|
|b.||Submission of Materials. Each application shall indicate on its face, in addition to other requirements as may be determined by the Committee, that the following materials must be submitted by the applicant:|
|c.||Approval Process. An application must be submitted to the Commissioner of Public Works, who shall then forward the application to the Departments for review. The application must receive the approval of each of the Departments, based on duly published criteria established by the Committee, prior to its final approval and the issuance of a permit by the Commissioner.|
17-10.6 Limitation on the Number of Permits
The Committee may from time to time set a limit on the number of total permits that may be issued or renewed per year; provided, however, that no more than ten percent (10%) of total permits or five (5) permits, whichever is greater, may be issued to a single person or business entity or both. Upon receipt of application, the Commissioner or his or her designee shall advise the applicant whether or not the limitation has been met.
17-10.7 Permit Renewal
|a.||Every mobile food truck permit, unless suspended or revoked by the Committee for a violation of any provision of this section or other rule or regulation promulgated for the implementation of this section, shall be renewed annually given that a renewal fee is paid within thirty (30) days after its one year expiration, at which time the permit holder shall forfeit the right to renew and the permit may be made available to another applicant for new permit if the limitation on the number of permits has not been reached.|
|b.||The renewal of a permit does not also guarantee renewal of the previously approved route. The Committee reserves the right to add, remove, and reapportion available locations among mobile food truck operations at renewal.|
17-10.8 Rules and Regulations
|a.||General. The Committee members are hereby authorized to promulgate, both jointly and within their respective departments, additional rules and regulations appropriate for the implementation of this section, and, if necessary, work with other agencies and departments of the city and state to establish a streamlined process for the permitting of mobile food trucks; provided, however, that such rules and regulations are not inconsistent with the following limitations and restrictions:|
|b.||Inspectional Services. The Inspectional Services Department shall ensure compliance with the State Sanitary Code 105 CMR 590.|
|c.||Fire Department. The Boston Fire Department shall promulgate rules and regulations for the inspection of mobile food trucks and to ensure compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local fire safety statutes, regulations, ordinances, and codes.|
17-10.9 Permit Fees
|a.||Application Fee. The application fee for a permit or a renewal of a permit granted by the Committee for the operation of a mobile food truck shall be five hundred dollars ($500).|
|b.||Annual Fee. An annual fee shall be required for the issuance or renewal of a mobile food truck permit based on a taxable market valuation of city property by the Assessing Department, including sidewalks, from which mobile food trucks will stand according to a route of operation submitted with an application for a mobile food truck permit. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the Committee from designating zones throughout the city for the purposes of establishing fees and rates.|
17-10.10 Prohibition Against the Transfer of a Permit.
|a.||Transfers for value prohibited. No person holding a permit for a mobile food truck shall sell, lend, lease or in any manner transfer a mobile food truck permit for value.|
|b.||Nonvalue transfers as part of the sale of a business. Notwithstanding subsection 17- 10.10(a), a permit holder may transfer a permit as part of the sale of a majority of the stock in a corporation holding such permit, as part of the sale of a majority of the membership interests of a limited liability company holding such permit, or as part of the sale of a business or substantially all of its assets; provided that there shall be no allocated or actual value for the transfer of the permit.|
|c.||Unauthorized transfer voids permit. Any unauthorized transfer or attempt to transfer a permit shall automatically void such permit. Whoever violates this provision, including both the transferor and transferee, shall be subject to a fine of three hundred ($300) dollars, pursuant to section 17-10.12(a). The unauthorized transfer or attempt to transfer of each permit shall constitute a separate violation.|
17-10.11 Operation of Mobile Food Trucks
|a.||Operation without permit. Any mobile food truck being operated without a valid mobile food truck permit issued by the Commissioner shall be deemed a public safety hazard and may be ticketed and impounded.|
|b.||Unattended Vehicles prohibited. No mobile food truck shall be parked on the street overnight, or left unattended and unsecured at any time food is kept in the mobile food truck. Any mobile food truck which is found to be unattended shall be considered a public safety hazard and may be ticketed and impounded.|
|c.||A mobile food truck operating outside of an approved route, at an unauthorized location, or beyond the hours for which the operation has been permitted shall be deemed operating without a permit in violation of this section and may be subject to enforcement under subsection 17-10.12.|
|a.||Fine for Violation. Any permit holder operating a mobile food truck or service in violation of any provision of this section or any rules and regulations promulgated by the Committee may be subject to a fine of three hundred ($300.00) dollars per day. Each day of violation shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. The provisions of G.L. c. 40, s. 21D may be used to enforce this section.|
|b.||Revocation, Suspension, Modification. Once a permit has been issued it may be revoked, suspended, modified, or not renewed by the Commissioner for failure to comply with the provisions of this section or any rules and regulations promulgated by the Committee.|
|c.||Removal. Any permit holder found in violation of this section or any rules and regulations promulgated by the Committee may be issued a ticket for violation and the mobile food vehicle may be impounded.|
|d.||Enforcement. The provisions of this section or any rules and regulations promulgated by the Committee may be enforced jointly by the Boston Police Department and the Boston Transportation Department.|
If any provision of this section is held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, then such provision shall be considered separately and apart from the remaining provisions, which shall remain in full force and effect.
Notwithstanding any provision of this Ordinance to the contrary, existing mobile food permits lawfully issued to mobile food trucks, as defined in CBC chapter XVII, subsection 17-10.1, by the City of Boston Division of the Health Inspections prior to the passage of this section shall remain effective until December 31, 2011 and any such mobile food truck operation shall be exempt from the provisions of CBC chapter XVII, section 17-10 until January 1, 2012.
The provisions of this section shall take effect immediately upon thirty (30) days of passage.
Info Session for New Vendors
The Office of Food Initiatives will be hosting info sessions for new vendors in May, August, and November in the Boston City Hall in the BRA Boardroom (9th Floor) starting at 4:00 PM. We will provide a thorough overview of the Mobile Food Truck Program and provide an opportunity for asking specific questions.
If you are considering a food truck business and have questions about the permitting and licensing process, please RSVP with your name and contact information to the Mobile Food Truck Coordinator, in the Office of Food Initiatives.
Want more food trucks in your area?
Now you can suggest a new food truck location in Boston with our Food Truck Suggest-a-Site map.