Council Approves Food Truck Ordinance Changes

By Adam Swift

The City Council approved several changes in the city’s food truck ordinances at its Monday night meeting.

Earlier this year, Ward 4 Councillor Paul Argenzio introduced a motion seeking to limit food trucks on Broadway near City Hall. Argenzio said his motion was intended to help brick and mortar businesses along Broadway, as well as reduce the nuisance for residents who live near Broadway and are subjected to noise and traffic from the food trucks.

During the debate over the issue, several Broadway restaurant owners stated that the location of the food trucks along Broadway adversely affected their businesses, especially during lunch hours. Several residents also said the noise from the food truck generators impacted their quality of life. But operators of several of the food trucks said the change in the ordinance would affect their business and livelihood.

In introducing the motion, Argenzio said he did not believe the original intention of the food truck ordinance was for there to be the vehicles permanently parked near city hall. Several councilors said they would like to see more options for food trucks to operate in other areas of the city where they would not impact as many residents and businesses.

The ordinance change approved by the council on Monday night limits the area near city hall on Broadway to one food truck only during special events. It also allows for a food truck location on Shirley Avenue in front of 161 Shirley Ave. for one food truck.

Under the revised ordinance, any vehicle towing the food trucks or carts would have to be detached and parked legally in another location.

Ward 2 Councilor Ira Novoselsky said he requested the changes for the Shirley Avenue location after he received some complaints about the way the food trucks were being parked.

The council also approved Novoselsky’s request that the council change the hours of operation for the Shirley Avenue food truck location to 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the discretion of the license commission.

The ordinance also eliminates a food truck location on Bennington Street, which Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna said has caused traffic issues during the busiest hours of the day.

However, McKenna noted that the DCR does allow for a number of food truck parking locations along Revere Beach and Ocean Avenue, and that Suffolk Downs developer HYM will be establishing a food truck park on its property later this summer.

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