Council passes amended food truck ordinance in East Providence

Required to match state law, streamlines process for proprietors and administrators

By Mike Rego
Posted 1/23/20

EAST PROVIDENCE — At its January 21 meeting, the City Council gave second and final passage to an ordinance on food truck regulations, one that aligns with measures previously passed by the …

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Council passes amended food truck ordinance in East Providence

Required to match state law, streamlines process for proprietors and administrators

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — At its January 21 meeting, the City Council gave second and final passage to an ordinance on food truck regulations, one that aligns with measures previously passed by the General Assembly.

Assistant City Solicitor Dylan Conley provided the body with a brief refresher on the matter prior to the vote, which was unanimous. He explained the state law passed synchronized how food trucks are regulated throughout Rhode Island, allowing for a more streamlined, structured process for both the proprietors and regulators.

Key to Assembly bill was the requirement food truck owners only needed a permit from the state, not through each municipality. He added each city and town is required to pass an ordinance that “matches up” with the state’s language. Mr. Conley noted the ordinance as written in East Providence mirrors those approved in Johnston and Pawtucket.

Mr. Conley said the “key provisions” in the state law and the ordinance the council approved are much they same as they’ve always been.

Among those notable elements of the ordinance are:

  • the owner must have a “hold-harmless agreement” indemnifying the city against any liability; the vehicles “shall not” be parked on the street overnight or be left unattended and unsecured at any time food is in it
  • the vehicles “shall not” be present in a residential zone, unless part of a duly licensed special event or unless the operator has a peddler’s license issued by the East Providence City Council, not be within 200 feet of any open brick-and-mortar restaurant or any public or private school, or municipal park, without the corresponding property owner’s written consent and not in an area where such operation is deemed by the Chief of Police, or his/her designee, to endanger or inconvenience the general public or where there is determined to be a disturbance of the peace.
  • In addition, a proprietor can have their permit revoked for “violating any of the provisions of this article may be subject to denial, suspension or revocation of the municipal permit after a hearing before the City Council.”

The ordinance (see attached for full document) is enshrined into the City Charter with immediate effect.

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