Middletown food cart ordinance reintroduced by council

By Tom Lehman 10:50pm, November 5, 2012
Middletown's Town Council has reintroduced an ordinance that would formalize the process of applying to operate a food cart.

Comments at last month's public hearing have led to Council removing language that referred to food cart vendors not paying local taxes and added the requirement that applicants have a certificate from the state's division of public health for operation of their carts.

Despite the changes, Middletown Mayor Ken Branner says the purpose of the proposed ordinance is still the same.

"It's a process that we had a conditional use before, but now it will go to planning and zoning and get more comments. It'll add one more meeting to the process and then Mayor and Council will still judge each one on its own merit and give the permits to the mobile food vendors one at a time," he says.

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One aspect that remained unchanged was the requirement that the food cart operator be able to dispose of grease and waste and be located on private property with the owner's written permission to do so and be located outside any area of the town's maintained public right-of-way.

The town currently has one mobile food cart operating on Main Street under a conditional use permit and it would be unaffected by the proposed ordinance.

Branner says a number of issues are considered when applicants approach Council with their proposals to determine whether it would be safe to operate a food cart.

"If traffic is an issue, we'll certainly take that into consideration," he says.

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Council is expected to vote on the proposed ordinance at a December meeting. You can view the ordinance on the town's website.

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