City Council gives unanimous approval to extend food truck pilot program

Updated: 04/23/2014 11:25 PM
Created: 04/23/2014 6:01 PM WHEC.com
By: Lynette Adams

The Rochester City Council gave unanimous approval to extend its food truck pilot programs.

Food truck vendors will be able to operate until 2:00 a.m., and the city has now expanded the areas where these trucks can operate.  For the past year, food trucks have been only allowed at five downtown locations across the entire city. There are 13 food trucks jockeying for these spots.

Now food trucks will be allowed in six new locations including Elm Street, East Avenue, Bragdon Place, Court Street, Gibbs Street and Cascade Drive.

One food truck owner came out to speak on behalf of the vendors. Arthur Rothfuss says it is disappointing that after several meetings and weeks of haggling to expand the program that most of the city is still off limits for food trucks.

“It’s great that we’re having more opportunity to vend, but we need to do something about the issue of vending on commercial, private property and the rest of the city. Right now the permitting process for the city, outside of the center of the city, is untenable as it stands, and we just keep getting put off time and time again,” said Rothfuss.

“I guess I'm a little saddened that the food truck operators, who have gotten about 98%of what they requested, are still not happy,” said City Council member Carolee Conklin.

Food vendors may be happy to know another part of this ordinance still in the works will give food trucks the opportunity to get permits up to 60 times a year to set up at schools, bars, restaurants, offices and on government property with the permission of the property owners. That piece, however, has to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Conklin says the city is still testing this program until December and can make changes at any time. The city will take another look at the food truck program in October, and it could possibly expand again at that time.

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