During a General Government Committee meeting on April 18, 2016, Clarington Council tried to accommodate several food trucks, seeking an exemption to the current refreshment vehicle by-law. The requested exemption would allow up to six refreshment vehicles to operate within 60 metres of one another, at a property located at 1967 Taunton Road near Hampton. Council referred the matter to staff for review due to potential concerns with traffic, parking and safety. The intention of the licensing by-law was to protect existing restaurants from possible encroachments by smaller food trucks. This requirement is not new; it has been in place since 1979. The licensing by-law states that a food truck cannot operate within 60 metres of an eating establishment, such as a restaurant. It has since been determined that food trucks do not meet the definition describing an eating establishment and can operate next to one another.
The Municipality of Clarington has not closed down any of the food trucks operating on that property. In fact, Municipal staff are actively working with all food truck owners to process their 2016 applications. Clarington just received applications from several food truck owners, seeking a licence to open up their business on that property this week. Municipal staff are working with the food truck owners on the current 2016 applications, to ensure they are complete so they can be approved. Food trucks must be licensed annually and require inspections by several agencies to ensure their equipment and food handling complies with set standards. To date in 2016, the Municipality has granted eight licences. Clarington typically receives more licensing applications approaching the summer season. In 2015, the Municipality approved a total of 25 annual licences.
“It is our goal to help facilitate and assist small businesses in Clarington. We want to ensure that our residents are informed and knowledgeable about our licensing process and can navigate it with ease,” said Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster.
Municipal staff will be providing a report to Council that will look at many issues surrounding food truck licensing and safety. Clarington would like to assure all residents that the food trucks seeking to operate near Hampton will be licensed and open for business as soon as they meet all safety requirements. The Municipality of Clarington recognizes the public interest in food trucks and is working actively to help them open.