Proposed food truck ordinance in West Chester to face major overhaul

This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website.
The West Chester Borough Council is looking into creating a food truck ordinance, though the first draft will face a major overhaul. (www.jenryan.weebly.com)

The West Chester Borough Council is looking into creating a food truck ordinance, though the first draft will face a major overhaul. (www.jenryan.weebly.com)

WEST CHESTER — Food trucks owners and employees and West Chester University professors and students rallied together in just a single day after hearing about a possible ordinance to regulate food trucks in the borough and made themselves known on Tuesday night.

As an example, Justin Wilson, who owns Fenn’s Coffee, which has a food truck on the university’s campus, created an online petition and received over 500 signatures in just 24 hours.

After hearing from the community and some discussions among the council members, the borough council decided to send the ordinance back down to the Kaizen Committee for a complete overhaul.

“Council has been chatting amongst itself individually and the sense I got from several members is that there is a desire to send this back to committee for a significant revision,” said council President Ellen Koopman. “Personally, from my perspective, it was becoming clear from the comments we had…that the current proposed ordinance is simply unworkable for food trucks.”

…[Please continue the story on the Daily Local News website by clicking here.]

“Without your love and support, I’m not sure what could’ve happened the past few months,” Wilson wrote as an update on his petition page. “For everyone that shared, supported, signed and left a comment, our voices have been heard.”

The original proposed ordinance was discussed during a hearing Tuesday night with numerous people in attendance.

The ordinance called for all food trucks to apply for a permit and have and maintain a general liability insurance.

Some requirements were also mentioned, including being located only on Church Street, between Sharpless Street and West Rosedale Avenue, and in the 400 block of Hannum Avenue, and can only operate between the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Along with that time, all food trucks had to have been moved by 11 p.m. each night and could arrive no earlier than 6 a.m. the next morning, which sounded to cause the most grumbling amongst the food truck owners.

“The ordinance…would seriously interfere with our right to do business,” Wilson wrote on his petition. “The ordinance makes it easier for West Chester to shut down food trucks for small violations (and) because the ordinance requires food trucks to be moved each night, food trucks will no longer be able to depend on the parking spaces that allow them to set up their convenient storefronts.”

Since the proposed ordinance will be sent down to the Kaizen Committee, borough council strongly recommended the food trucks owners and employees to attend its next committee meeting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 13.

Borough council also recommended that the food trucks come together to form a group or designate one or two people to speak on behalf of them as to open a dialogue with the borough.

“The thought is that if our goal is to get a better grip on who the trucks are and making sure that there are standards they should operate by in terms of safety and cleanliness, the way to go to serve everyone’s needs is to treat them more as platforms than cars,” Koopman said.

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Categories: Community, Food, Government, Local Government, Uncategorized

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