Westfield has joined the growing number of places to adopt ordinances that restrict food trucks and mobile food vendors within city limits.
On March 10, the Westfield City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to ban food trucks from competing with permanent vendors and brick and mortar businesses in the city and specifically around Grand Park.
“We encourage their presence under certain circumstances, but we don’t want to discourage permanent brick service establishments inside our city,” Mayor Andy Cook said.
Prior to the vote, Westfield City Council President Jim Ake said the city had no policy on food vending throughout the city. Officials had heard some concerns that could impact economic development of the area as businesses said they “can’t compete with food vendors.”
“With this safe guard in place it should position the vendors of Grand Park for great success,” Economic Development Director Matt Skelton said.
The ordinance allows food vendors to only be present at special city events, neighborhood parties or when invited by large employers with more than 25 employees. Special events listed in the ordinance include the Westfield Farmers Market, Relay for Life and events hosted by Westfield and Hamilton County Parks and Recreation, Westfield Public Safety, Westfield Washington Schools, Westfield Rotary, Lions Club, Downtown Westfield Association and Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis.
Children’s food and beverage stands and ice cream trucks are not included in the ban – although ice cream trucks are not permitted within Grand Park.
“We have no intention of stopping kid’s lemonade stands,” Skelton said.
Violators of the ordinance will be subject to a fine of $100 per transaction. Skelton said the city does not have a permit fee for food vendors and does not plan to charge one for the three allowances.
“We’re not trying to bureaucratize the system by setting up a fee or payment system,” he said.