The Murfreesboro City Council Thursday unanimously adopted a proposed Food Ordinance on First Reading that amends City Code and adds new regulations on food trucks operating within the City limits. The ordinance must still receive approval on Second Reading to be officially adopted.
Council approval of the revised ordinance follows public meetings on August 15 and September 21 in which truck operators and restaurant owners provided input on the revised regulations. City administrators sought to balance the flexibility of allowing food trucks within the City limits with regulations necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens.
“We’re proud of how this ordinance has developed with significant amount of public engagement,” said Assistant City Manager Jennifer Moody. “We have come up with an ordinance that food truck operators, restaurants, and Main Street Murfreesboro/Rutherford County are happy with and the public can enjoy.”
Council member Eddie Smotherman complimented Moody on the way the public engagement and public input process was handled. Mayor Shane McFarland and Council member Madelyn Scales Harris concurred.
The finalized draft of the proposed ordinance is available for review and downloadable from the City of Murfreesboro websitehttp://www.murfreesborotn.gov/DocumentCenter/View/4410 or look for “Proposed Food Truck Ordinance” under the “Doing Business” tab on the City’s homepage atwww.murfreesborotn.gov. The proposed ordinance includes seven major sections: 1) Purpose, 2) Definitions, 3) Generally 4) Locations and Hours of Operation, 5) Operating Requirements 6) Mobile Food Service Permits, and 7) Food Truck Rallies.
A “City of Murfreesboro—Food Truck Ordinance” Facebook page facilitates public awareness and public input on the proposed ordinance and future administration. Visit the page at https://www.facebook.com/City-of-Murfreesboro-Food-Truck-Ordinance.
The proposed ordinance includes some of the following important regulations:
- “City Parks” is included to the public property where Food Trucks may operate. Operators must obtain written permission from the Park Department and comply with all of the Rules and Regulations of the Department.
- Private Property on which Food Trucks may operate is defined to “within commercial, office, educational, and industrial zoning districts.”
- Food Trucks may not operate on Unimproved Properties “unless that parcel is paved, has paved ingress and egress, and has on the parcel a principal structure with an operating restroom.”
- Frequency Food Trucks may operate is “no more than four days per calendar week at a location.”
- Right-of-Way restriction requires that “No Mobile Food Service Vehicle may remain in the right-of-way designated as a permitted Food Truck location non-operational and not open to the public for more than two hours.”
- Food Truck Rallies, defined as 4 or more trucks in a single location on public or private property, require a Special Event Permit.
The annual fee for Mobile Food Service application permit is $50. A violator found operating without a permit, and an operator whose permit has been “suspended” or “revoked” will incur additional fees to reinstate their permits.
The proposed food truck ordinance comes in response to growing demand for mobile food vending by customers and operators as well as organizers of special community events. Under the proposed Ordinance 16-0-32, the Murfreesboro City Code, Chapter 13 for Food and Food Products is amended to add sections regarding Mobile Food Vending.
All related documents, including a memo to the City Council and Maps, regarding the proposed Food Truck Ordinance and Regulations are available on the City webpage, at Food Truck Permits webpage http://www.murfreesborotn.gov/index.aspx?NID=928.