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Somerville Aldermen Pass Food Truck Ordinance

After nearly eight months of debate about food trucks in the city, the Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance governing the mobile food sellers.

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. 

More on food trucks in Somerville

Gewirtz Gives Candid Assessment of Food Truck Ordinance on 'Greater Somerville'

'America's Test Kitchen' Editor to Discuss Food Trucks on 'Greater Somerville'

Opinion: Phantom Gourmet CEO on Food Trucks

Somerville Aldermen Now Mull Pilot Program for Food Trucks

Blog: Let’s Welcome Food Trucks in Somerville

Aldermen Balk at Prospect of Food Trucks in Somerville

Poll: Do You Want Food Trucks in Somerville?

Somerville Eyes Food Trucks With Eagerness and Caution



kevin thomas crowley October 26, 2012 at 01:28 PM
8 months debate on food trucks. 80 minutes and no legislative public hearings on changing union square forever. the food truck issue deserved the attetion paid to it because of the legitimate interests of food purveyers in the city. union square was a 'done deal' before it even reached the board of aldermen, hence, no serious attention by the Board.
Courtney O'Keefe October 26, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Hi Kevin, I just wanted to point out that there was a public hearing on the Union Square Revitalization plan. It was held on September 19th at 6pm and was hosted by the Committee on Housing and Community Development: http://somervillecityma.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Meeting.aspx?ID=1539
Somerville Home Owner October 26, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Yes, Courtney but it was still a done deal. Union Square Revitalization plan went through the motions, but decisions were already in place it seems.
Courtney O'Keefe October 26, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Somerville Home Owner, The speed of which this was submitted and passed is certainly suspect. I just didn't want people misinformed that there was no public hearing.

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