Smithers is one step closer to getting a defined policy for food trucks after yesterday’s (Dec. 13) council meeting.
At that meeting, council voted unanimously to have town staff draft a mobile vendor and restaurants policy.
Currently, food trucks in Smithers cannot operate on public highways, town-owned property or in residential zones without council approval.
In their report to council, staff noted that this is not common practice for the area. In Terrace and Prince George, fire services and building inspectors first complete an inspection of the vendor’s mobile unit. After this is complete, a vendor must request specific locations and times they’d like to set up shop, which is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The cities both have lists of available city-owned locations where vendors can apply to operate.
The move comes as a result of a previous request from a local food truck vendor – Sum Shockin’ Good – to operate at a number of locations in town in 2023: Smithers Arena, Chandler Park and Central Park. Council also approved this request with the caveat that any requested dates must be approved with user groups associated with the locations.
While some councilors voiced concerns over exactly what the mobile vendor policy would look like, Mayor Gladys Atrill pointed out that it could still be revised further once staff had completed their initial draft.
“There are businesses that are exactly right for mobile vending and it would be nice to have a policy that sort of sets that out,” she said just prior to the vote.
Council also voted unanimously for the first three readings of an amendment which would allow the Director of Development Services to approve future vendor locations.