The Wichita City Council will have a first reading of a proposed food truck ordinance at its meeting on Tuesday.
The city and the Wichita Food Truck Coalition have been going back and forth on the draft policy for months. The current mobile food vendor ordinance hasn’t been updated in many years, and doesn’t allow trucks to operate on city streets in downtown Wichita.
Jeff Schauf owns the Flying Stove and is president of the Food Truck Coalition. He says the new policy could benefit food truck owners.
“In my mind, there’s two great things that happened from the ordinance, and that’s that we’re going to be able to be in the Central Business District under provision, and also it’ll be a little bit easier of a process to have our community events as far as getting our licenses and stuff like that," he says.
Instead of applying for a permit for each location they want to operate from, owners would instead license their trucks—for 30 days, 6 months, or a year.
Scott Knebel, downtown revitalization manager for the Wichita-Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Department, says the City Council seemed supportive of the ordinance during a workshop earlier this year. He says he has heard some concerns from community members and downtown restaurant owners; one wrote to the city to question whether inexpensive food truck licenses will compete with established permanent businesses downtown. Under the proposed ordinance, trucks aren’t allowed to operate within 150 feet of a restaurant without permission.
“It’s a give and take and everybody’s going to have to compromise on certain things,” Knebel says.
The City Council meets Tuesday at 9 a.m.