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Tempe city council to vote on easing food truck regulations

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Tempe City Council is set to vote on a new ordinance aimed to ease restrictions on food trucks yet also protect local businesses and restaurants.

“We’re amending our city code as it relates to mobile merchants, meaning food trucks and kiosks,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell.

The ordinance would extend the length of time a food truck can operate in the city of Tempe — a move to help make the city more inviting to the mobile kitchens, said Mitchell.

“This is something that is another quality amenity to our residents, to our employees and to our businesses … the ability to have food trucks here longer than what the current time frame is now,” he said. “Especially as you see all the special events we have.”

Currently, food trucks can only operate for an hour but the new ordinance would extend that time to four hours, according to Mitchell. He said extending that time would great encourage the trucks to come out to events in the city.

The ordinance would also see to protect local businesses and restaurants by creating a “good neighbor policy” agreement with the trucks.

“They’re responsible for maintaining public safety (as well as) respecting the public and private properties,” Mitchell said. “Managing whatever impacts they could have to nearby establishments, whether that could be caused by noise or parking or let’s say, they’re real busy.”

Mitchell said it would help to ensure that the trucks are not impeding on local businesses or hindering their ability to do business in Tempe.

“We know that food trucks are very popular and we want to encourage them to be in our community, especially to for special events,” Mitchell said. “And not to mention there’s good food on those food trucks.”

The council will vote whether to pass or veto the ordinance on Thursday.