Village council corrects issue with peddlers ordinance that could have affected events, food trucks

Mobile food truck ordinance up next

By Megan Kelley
Review Writer
LAKE ORION — The Lake Orion Village Council made some corrections to take care of Ordinance 13.06 in the wake of the Dragon on the Lake Festival, one that would have required food vendors to take out a second permit.
And it could have potentially prevented food vendors from operating in the village.
The correction had to do specifically with chapter 110; peddlers, itinerant merchants and solicitors.
During its meeting on July 24, the council had a second reading and approved ordinance 13.06 which amended chapter 110 to exempt special event vendors from the licensing requirements under the ordinance.
The issue arose when a mistake in the meeting minutes was then approved by council at its following meeting. The approved minutes from the July 24 meeting incorrectly stated that council gave first reading to the ordinance and scheduled a public hearing. To correct the record, the council, during their meeting on Aug. 28, had to rescind the motion from its July 24 meeting, which gave first reading to the ordinance, and then approve a motion to give second reading and approval of the ordinance.
“This was the issue where we had discovered that there was an ordinance that was passed that required vendors to – it was quite burdensome – they had to take on a second permit if they were going to be (at) an event,” said council President Jerry Narsh. “We would have chased away just about every event vendor in the village had we continued with that practice. It never should have been passed, somehow it was and I don’t think it was passed with that intent but we were removing that and that was all.”
According to Garrett Hoffman, Orion Township resident and co-owner of My Food Dude food truck, this ordinance could have made it impossible for Dragon on the Lake to proceed in the downtown and almost had the event moved entirely.
The council did adopt ordinance 13.06 by a 7-0 vote.
Mobile Food Truck Ordinance
Since May the council has been discussing adopting a new mobile food establishments ordinance.
During its Aug. 28 meeting, the council received sample ordinances from other communities from village Manager Darwin McClary.
Though the council ultimately voted 7-0 to postpone the discussion until the next meeting, council still provided input on what they would like to see in an ordinance moving forward.
“We brought this up a couple of times, we discovered in the process, sometimes when you’re mining for one item you can come across gold and we were able to fix the other problems,” Narsh said. “In talking with my friends in the food truck business, they also had similar comments to include some ideas, and this is kind of the gold that we discovered in the process of reviewing this ordinance again. that there are some items that I think we can look at as a council that aren’t in our ordinance and it could be where some items that are in our ordinance are counterproductive and not really needed.”
Other council members expressed interest in adding limits on how long food trucks are allowed to stay in a certain location and potentially putting restrictions on where they are allowed to operate.
Hoffman spoke during public comment to offer his help with creating an ordinance, saying he has already done so with Orion Township. He emphasized the importance of working with food truck owners to create an ordinance that works in conjunction with things they already are required to do from entities like the health department.
Hoffman also urged the council to decide what exactly it is looking for in an ordinance. According to Hoffman, when working with the township on its ordinance, the township was mostly concerned about safety and who was working the trucks.
The council is expected to bring the topic up again at its next meeting on Sept. 11.

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