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Popularity of food trucks spawns code change idea
by Joshua H. Silavent
Jan 22, 2012 | 1092 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/John Byrne - Food vending trucks, such as this one in Reno, have become popular enough to prompt the Sparks Planning Commission to recommend measures making it less restrictive for them to operate.
Tribune/John Byrne - Food vending trucks, such as this one in Reno, have become popular enough to prompt the Sparks Planning Commission to recommend measures making it less restrictive for them to operate.
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SPARKS — The Planning Commission on Thursday recommended that the City Council approve an amendment to the Sparks Municipal Code that would regulate food trucks and other mobile vendors in the city, allowing such businesses freer reign to operate.

Currently, food trucks are not permitted within city limits without first acquiring a temporary-use permit. However, such permits are restrictive in nature, limiting the number of days and places mobile vendors can operate.

“That doesn’t work for what some mobile vendors are trying to do,” City Planner Jim Rundle said.

The code change would set three primary regulations.

First, mobile vendors will have to acquire a business license. Second, they only will be able to operate on private property. And, finally, they could not operate within 300 feet of a restaurant with taxable sales.

There is no limit on the number of hours mobile vendors can operate within a given day, however they cannot operate in the same location for more than four hours within any 24-hour period.

The City Council must approve the code amendment. It is expected to hear a first reading next month.

The Reno City Council is considering a similar ordinance, though one major difference between the two is that Reno wants to impose only a 100-foot barrier between food trucks and restaurants.

In other news, the Planning Commission recommended another change to the Municipal Code that would extend the life of a special-use permit to two years from six months.

Finally, Doug Voelz was named the 2012 chairman, replacing Tom Lean. Art Sperber was named vice chair, replacing Voelz.
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