Food trucks stalled in Lake Ozark

An ordinance allowing food trucks on the Bagnell Dam Strip still under review

Dan Field
Special to the Lake Sun, USA TODAY NETWORK

Bringing food trucks to Lake Ozark needs a little more study.

That’s the wishes of the board of aldermen which recently tabled second and final reading of an ordinance that would have allowed food trucks within the city limits with restrictions. Instead, the board and staff will discuss the issue during a regular workshop July 21. The first reading was held at the June 8 board meeting.

The ordinance, if approved in its current format, would allow food trucks within the city limits but not in the city’s only C-1 district – The Strip. There would be additional restrictions under the proposed ordinance including a rule that would prohibit food trucks within 150 feet of the main entrance to any licensed business that sells food to the public unless the owner of the business gives his or her written permission.

Additionally, a food vendor could not operate within 500 feet of the entrance to a business during a permitted special event without the permission of the event organizer.

It is that 150-foot restriction that is causing issues with some of the board.

“I talked to several business people on The Strip and they have some concern with this,” Alderman Dennis Klautzer said, “and the 150 feet restriction that if an event organizer wishes to have food vendor trucks there they can park in a non-city zoned area within 150 feet of their store front. I’d like to change that to 500 feet.”

He said businesses didn’t do as well as expected during the recent Lake Race Street Party despite the large number of people attending the event.

“I think if we add more competition right at their doorstep it’s going to make it more difficult for them to exist,” he added. “Those businesses only put money in the bank four months out of the year, and I don’t know that we as a city want to allow someone to park competition right in front unless they agree. I think 500 feet is fair to brick-and-mortar businesses.”

Newly appointed Alderman Bert Westbrook, also a member of the Magic Dragon Street Meet Nationals car show committee, said the Lake Area Chamber is careful which vendors it allows during the car show to make sure none compete with brick-and-mortar businesses.

“The type of competition that we’ve (the Chamber) allowed has not been competition for that reason,” he explained. “There aren’t businesses that are cooking kettle corn on The Strip. If there was, they wouldn’t be invited. The same thing with shaved ice. There wasn’t any place selling that.”

City Administrator Dave Van Dee offered another thought.

“You’re assuming event coordinators have complete control. They don’t.

There’s nothing to keep any vendor from going on private property if they’re reporting sales tax and have the proper licensing. That has been an issue in the past.”

Proposed ordinance highlights

•Mobile vending is defined as any individual providing for the preparation and sale of food with the use of traveling cooking equipment used for vending.

•Food vendor vehicles are not allowed in C-1 district (The Strip), but are allowed in R-3 Multi-Family districts, C-2 General Commercial Districts and LMU-1 Lakefront Mixed Use districts.

•A food vendor is temporary. It can only park in one location for more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period unless part of a special event.

•A food vendor cannot operate on any public property, right-of-way or leased space unless allowed by the special event organizer.

•Food vendors must have a sales tax certificate, lease/property use consent letter, a health department compliance and inspection reports, vehicle registration and insurance documents, and a food liability policy in the amount of $1 million and a copy of the necessary city, county and/or state business license.

•Vendors must provide a sanitation plan which must be approved by the city’s public works director and sanitation cannot be discharged into the city’s wastewater or stormwater systems.

•A vendor must provide a trash and recycling containers for use by their patrons.

•A vendor must keep the area within 25 feet of the vendor vehicle cleared of trash and refuse.

•A vendor cannot have more than one sign no larger than 24x36 inches that is not attached to the vendor vehicle.

•A mobile ice cream truck can sell products on public property if the vehicle does not stop for more than five minutes in any one location, does not impede traffic and complies with applicable provisions of the city code.