Traverse City Record-Eagle

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April 9, 2013

Recommendation: Allow food vendors

TRAVERSE CITY — The city would open up one downtown street and four parking lots to food vending trucks in the latest recommendation slated to go before the city commission.

A committee of three commissioners recommends the full city commission allow food vendors to park in public spots on State Street between Pine and Union streets in addition to four city-owned parking lots downtown. Up to two vendors could park at each location for an annual fee of $1,225. Vendors could also use private lots for a reduced fee and some city streets outside of the downtown.

The city’s Downtown Development Authority had recommended against allowing food trucks on any downtown city streets after months of public debate. The DDA recommended allowing food trucks in three public parking lots located near the volleyball courts, farmers’ market, and Union Street Dam.

The committee added Lot E, on State Street behind the Post Office, to its list of approved downtown spots.

But a written complaint from a downtown business owner about using a lot not even under consideration prompted Commissioner Jim Carruthers to recommend three additional street locations at the committee’s final meeting on Monday.

“If people are going to complain about using city parking lots maybe we should move it to the street,” Carruthers said.

Commissioners Mike Gillman and Mary Ann Moore rejected adding sections of Union and Cass streets south of State Street to the ordinance for now.

“I think eventually we are going to have to expand because people are going to want it,” Moore said. “But let’s hold off until September.”

The committee proposes to review the ordinance at the end of the summer.

The full city commission will consider the committee’s recommended ordinance on April 15.

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