Dan Langshaw Ordinance 21-67 Proposed Mobile Food Unit Ordinance Public Comments at the April 6, 2021 North Royalton City Council Meeting & Statement

Below is my full comments at the April 6, 2021 Regular North Royalton City Council Meeting about the Food Truck Legislation Ordinance 21-67 that I addressed City Council on during the public comments portion of the meeting agenda.

Unfortunately City Council passed this final version of legislation that was available to the public and the media only on Monday and passed it on First Reading not allowing Three Readings for further public input before a vote nor without any changes to the legislation.

The vote on Ordinance 21-67 was 5-2. I appreciate that our city’s charter and council rules allow for residents an opportunity to be heard and from past experience has been extremely helpful before I took tough votes on council.

I fully support residents first amendment rights to be heard. Thank you to the Council President and Ward 1 Councilwoman for at least voting against this legislation last night and taking into consideration residents and businesses concerns that were raised to try improve the legislation.

Full Text

Dan Langshaw Ordinance 21-67 Proposed Mobile Food Unit Ordinance

April 6, 2021 before North Royalton City Council

Good evening members of City Council. My name is Dan Langshaw. As a taxpayer, supporter of small businesses, and community leader I like to share concerns regarding Ordinance 21-67 the proposed Mobile Food Unit Ordinance that is on the agenda for a possible vote tonight or in the next month.

The issue of food trucks began back in August of 2019 with the Blue Monkey Brewing Company informing the Planning Commission that they would be having them on the weekends like most brewery’s do in Ohio. However, the city did not have anything in our code about them.

I have done a survey and listened to both residents and businesses on this issue. The majority in this community do not view food trucks as problem nor does it take away from any of our local businesses. If anything, it helps draw more attention to our local businesses and maybe even bring new future businesses to our community as a result. Especially, given the times we are currently facing with COVID-19, outdoor eating is even more essential for businesses as well as a preference to customers.

Ordinance 21-67 as currently written leans towards a more anti-business approach which does not create a welcoming business environment that you claim with this legislation. Council should consider making the following amendments to avoid that by:

  • Removing the requirement for the Fire Department to inspect these food trucks. The Cuyahoga County Board of Health already inspects these food trucks each year for their license. Which costs between $240 to $306 per unit. The Fire Department already has enough to worry about and no one wants resources from our safety forces divert for this ordinance. Just have the businesses provide proof of their license from the Board of Health which is valid to operate anywhere in Ohio.
  • Change the operations requirement that mobile food trucks not to operate within 200 feet of a residential property line to 75 feet. If not, Council will have effectively prevented businesses such as the Blue Monkey Brewing Company, from even being allowed to have a food truck ever. Given the rear residential property line to their business is about 97 feet where they have food trucks at safely.
  • Remove the operation requirement that food trucks can’t operate longer than 4 hours. If the city does not remove this requirement, the city won’t be able to have food trucks at our home-days, Greek Festival, St Albert Church Festival, and other events.
  • Add an exemption for 501(3)(c) non-profit organizations, churches, and schools from this ordinance so they are not negatively impacted in charitable fundraising events.
  • Remove the criminal penalties of this ordinance and replace it with a simple civil penalty of $100 per offense. No one should have to go to jail over this ordinance, especially a small business owner.

In closing, please consider these concerns before you vote. Thank you.