Toolkit Topic

Food Truck Model Ordinance

This model ordinance is a featured item in our Local Government Toolkit.

  1. Exception to Local License. A food truck does not need a business license from and may operate in this jurisdiction provided the food truck:
    1. has a current health department food truck permit from a local health department in the state of Utah;
    2. has a current business license from a political subdivision within the state of Utah that shows that the food truck passed a fire safety inspection conducted in accordance with state law; and
    3. follows any other lawful requirements of this section and Utah state law.
  2. License Required. A food truck that does not qualify for an exception to a local license pursuant to Subsection (1) shall:
    1. obtain a business license issued from this jurisdiction;
    2. pay the business license fee that is limited to the actual cost of processing the license;
    3. obtain a fire safety inspection;
    4. obtain a permit from the local health department; and
    5. follow any other lawful requirements of this section and Utah state law.
  3. Design Requirements. Food trucks shall be constructed in a way that they may be easily removed or relocated (road ready) on a daily basis. Any auxiliary power required for the operation of the mobile food truck shall be self-contained. No use of public or private power sources are allowed without written consent from the owner or their designee.
  4. Place of Operation. Food trucks may operate on private property if authorization is received from a property owner or their designee. Food trucks may also operate on public property from legal parking spaces—including parked on metered spaces upon payment of appropriate fees—on the public right of way provided all other requirements of this section are followed.
  5.  Operational Requirements. Food trucks shall not cause a traffic hazard, safety hazard, or public nuisance and shall:
    1. not park on a park strip, sidewalk, or within 20 feet of an intersection.
    2. not park in a manner that causes the vehicle or patrons to block vehicle travel, bicycle lanes, and driveways.
    3. if parked on a public right-of-way, orient the vending window to face away from the right-of-way.
    4. ensure that its use of the right-of-way in no way interferes with or limits sidewalk users’ free and unobstructed passage. The vendor must maintain a clear, continuous sidewalk width of no less than four feet and ensure that patron lines do not interfere with the sidewalk.
    5. not place chairs or tables in the parkway or public right-of-way.
    6. not allow canopy extensions, if used, to project onto or over the public sidewalk or any other part of the public right-of-way in a way that impedes pedestrian passage. Canopies must also be anchored per manufacturer requirements to ensure proper safety.
    7. maintain all grounds by providing trash containers and clean up all litter dropped or discarded onto the public right-of-way prior to leaving the location.
    8. dispose of all waste and materials properly. It is illegal to discharge or dispose of any substance, material, food, or waste into the storm drain system.
  6. Temporary Nature of Operation. All business activity related to food trucks shall be of a temporary nature, meaning:
    1. A food truck may not park in one individual location for more than eighteen (18) hours during any twenty four (24) hour period.
    2. The food truck shall be occupied by the owner or operator thereof at all times.
    3. No overnight parking is allowed.
  7.  Applicability. For purposes of this ordinance and pursuant to state law, “food truck” means:
    1. a fully encased food service establishment on a motor vehicle or on a trailer that a motor vehicle pulls to transport, and from which a food truck vendor, standing within the frame of the vehicle, prepares, cooks, sells, or serves food or beverages for immediate human consumption.
    2. an ice cream truck—a fully encased food service establishment on a motor vehicle or on a trailer that a motor vehicle pulls to transport from which a vendor, from within the frame of the vehicle, serves ice cream; that attracts patrons by traveling through a residential area and signaling the truck’s presence in the area, including by playing music; and that may stop to serve ice cream at the signal of a patron; or
    3. a food cart that is not motorized and that a vendor, standing outside the frame of the cart, uses to prepare, sell, or serve food or beverages for immediate human consumption.

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