Soldotna mobile food vendor regulations approved

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Saturday, July 25, 2015 10:06pm
  • News

Mobile food vendors looking to set up shop in Soldotna have a ne set of regulations developed by the city.

Changes the Soldotna City Council approved Wednesday will have little effect on existing operations. Prior permits and regulations only addressed temporary businesses.

“All of the food vendors that are already permitted to be in Soldotna, most of them won’t have to do anything at all,” said Director of Economic Development Stephanie Queen. “(We may have to) follow up with some to collect copies of their DEC (Department of Environmental Health) permits, but other than that we are just going to roll them forward into the new program. They won’t have to reapply; they won’t have to pay a new fee. Where we need to we will follow up and get a few documents we need to put in the file.”

The new rules will apply immediately.

“For anybody new in town, they will just be able to come in and the new process will apply,” Queen said. “We will collect their documents, make sure they know the general guidelines and they will be able to be on their way.”

City staff, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the city council have been collaborating and developing the regulations since January, when public meetings were held to gauge the specific operational needs that come along with mobile businesses.

The code begins with defining what constitutes a mobile vendor.

Issuance of a Mobile Vendor Permit is required for vehicles and wagons “capable of moving easily daily from location to location and from which any food, beverage, or retail sale occurs,” according to the new code.

Each vendor must go through an approval procedure, which includes a $50 fee, application filed through the city, proof of a DEC permit and waste management plan among others and adhere to eight general standards of operation, delineated in the municipal code.

Council Member Keith Baxter suggested four changes to the final set of regulations submitted by the Planning and Zoning Commission on June 10. The city council vote was pushed back until the July 15 meeting so the commission and public had more time to review the regulations and address concerns.

Baxter proposed an amendment to address the potential imposition of excessive noise on other businesses’ operations.

“The noise mitigation is something that hadn’t really been discussed in length prior to this meeting,” Baxter said. “I felt it was prudent to make a plan to mitigate the noise of generators.”

Council Members Linda Murphy and Pete Sprague said they felt the addition was unnecessary.

Enforcing noise regulations may be too challenging, Sprague said.

Baxter said city staff also suggested waiting a year to see if any noise complaints occurred.

The noise mitigation amendment was not included in the final regulations.

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com.

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