On September 4, 2012, the Independence City Council adopted Ordinance No. 17956, creating regulations in which mobile food units could operate within the City of Independence. This ordinance did not allow mobile food units to sell food items within fifty (50) feet of a restaurant, deli, cafeteria, or other eating establishment selling food items during the time it is open for business (except that food items could be sold from pushcarts within this fifty (50) foot zone, if owned and operated by a restaurant located within that fifty (50) foot zone). Furthermore, this ordinance did not allow mobile food units to operate within the geographic boundaries of the Independence Square, as defined by the Independence Square Revitalization Plan, unless the units were owned and operated by a restaurant with a permanent location within the same boundaries.
Since the adoption of this mobile food unit ordinance, staff has heard concerns from food truck operators regarding the fees being too high as well as the prohibition of mobile food units on the Square.
In response to these concerns, City staff and the Independence Square Association have been in discussion on a possible reduction to the area within the Independence Square where mobile food units are not allowed. Through these discussions, Staff and the Independence Square Association agreed that removing the prohibition of mobile food units on the Square was in the best interest of the City. However, the restriction regarding the selling of food items within fifty (50) feet of a restaurant, deli, cafeteria, or other eating establishment would remain with a minor revision which would only restrict the selling of food items within fifty (50) feet of the front facing façade, and the side facing façade if adjacent to a public road, of a restaurant, deli, cafeteria, or other eating establishment selling food items during the time it is open for business .
In response to concerns on the fees, staff made the administrative determination to charge the $200 low priority food establishment fee instead of a $500 high priority fee. This determination was based off the number of inspections, and the duration of those inspections, that was being done on mobile food units in comparison to larger commercial operations. Mobile food units will continue to be inspected as they have in the past. Staff has researched surrounding jurisdictions fees relating to mobile food units, and has found that Kansas City, Missouri is charging $230, and Jackson County (which covers Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, Raytown and Grain Valley) is charging $300.