News / Halifax

Debate could start cookin' soon over food truck rules in HRM

Halifax regional council is being asked to re-examine its policy governing street meat.

Coun. Jennifer Watts indicated during this week's council meeting that she’d be asking her fellow councillors to approve a staff report into bylaw C-500, which regulates food cart vending.

Watts said she had been approached by a few prospective venders looking for bylaw amendments that could enable a more creative approach to street fare than your standard fish and chips or hotdogs.

“(The amendments) would help facilitate either the food truck or the food cart industry,” said Watts.

“Basically it’s asking staff to … consult with the people who are interested in entering into this area and with people who are already involved with it … (and) the existing business community.”

For food trucks, the amendments include relaxing a rule in the current bylaw that disallows street vending from 4 to 9 a.m. - basically eliminating the possibility of trucks serving breakfast. Another desired amendment, according to Watts, is the prohibition of two venders sharing the same spot.

“This would allow for catching the early morning crowd in terms of what people may be wanting on their way to work,” Watts said.

It’s not possible for that early morning vender to share their spot with someone serving the evening or late night crowd - and potentially limits municipal revenue from permits.

Under the current bylaw, food carts - drawn by bicycles, for instance - are limited to serving “frozen treats.” So no luck if you’re craving a burrito bike.

Under the bylaw, all truck or cart operators are still required to be approved by the Department of Health and Wellness, as well as the Department or Labour.

Council will decide whether or not to approve a staff report into the matter next week.

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