The Somerville Board of Aldermen Thursday passed an ordinance governing food trucks in the city.
The passage of the ordinance came after nearly eight months of debate about the matter. Proponents of food trucks argued they would add to the economic vibrancy of the city's burgeoning food scene while serving as an incubator for small businesses. Skeptics had concerns about food trucks taking business from bricks-and-mortar restaurants. These differneces were hammered out in the Board of Aldermen's Legislative Matters Committee.
The ordinance passed Thursday requires food truck operators to file an application with the city, and the Board of Alderman will have the final say about granting licenses and about when and where individual food trucks will operate. Food truck owners will have to renew their license every year.
Food trucks would only be allowed to operate between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., unless they receive special permission to be open later.
Trucks will be encouraged to use compostable utensils and offer 25 percent "healthy choice meal options" on their menus. They must also display their license to operate at all times.
Ward 6 Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz, who chaired the Legislative Matters Committee that debated the ordinance, said in the end the aldermen passed "what I think is a really great product."
Doug Kress, a city staffer who worked on drafting the ordinance, said with winter coming Somerville would likely not see an immediate influx of food trucks. He hoped some would apply to the city to begin operating in spring.