Worthington City Council discusses food truck, inoperable vehicle regulation

WORTHINGTON – The Worthington City Council this week took forward steps in regulating several issues, including inoperable vehicles and food trucks.

Community Development/City Planner Jeremiah Cromie spoke with various cities of like size to find out what ordinances they enforced in regard to inoperable vehicles, especially those at auto repair shops. Staff will continue their research and present the council with a proposed ordinance in the future.

Cromie said many of the auto repair shops are already under a conditional use permit, and any new ordinance would only apply to new businesses or those who choose to expand. It’s not a fix to the few areas where there is a problem, Cromie said, but will prevent future problems.

The council approved an interim ordinance that puts a moratorium on new food trucks coming into the area unless approved by the city clerk. The city is trying to come up with a permanent solution to address semi-permanent restaurants, which are currently not an issue in Worthington.

Assistant City Administrator Jason Brisson was quick to say they have absolutely no problems with food truck owners in Worthington, but a request to put a truck on private property in a location with no parking had him looking into what could be regulated.

“The food trucks that have been here are good neighbors, but suddenly we have new folks that have new ideas,” Brisson said. “We’re not shutting anyone out, I just saw some potential pitfalls.”

Currently, food trucks are only required to have a transient license to sell their wares, which they are required to renew every 21 days. Staff will get to work on an ordinance that will address food trucks, the possibility of a yearly license.

The interim ordinance can be lifted at any time, Brisson said, and anyone who wants to appeal can do so with the council. In the meantime, staff will flesh out a permanent ordinance to regulate the trucks.

The council also overturned a decision made by Planning/Zoning to deny a variance. Logan Ahlers had requested a variance to add on to his garage, which was denied. The council approved a motion to give Ahlers the variance, citing the circumstances unique to the property through no fault of the landowner.

Ahlers owns property with a shared driveway, and where a driveway would normally go, there is a city fire hydrant in the way. Ahlers requested and was given permission to add to his garage toward the back.

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