The town of Old Orchard Beach is considering an ordinance to regulate food trucks.
The town is currently under a moratorium for food trucks. Last summer, a local businesswoman was denied business licenses from the town for two food trucks from the Town Council, which said food trucks were not allowed to operate in the downtown. This prompted town discussions and an effort by the town to work on an ordinance to better define and regulate food trucks.
The Planning Board has recommended an ordinance change that will go before the Town Council for a final vote next month.
The proposed ordinance change would limit food carts, food trucks and food stands to the Amusement Overlay and Campground Overlay districts. These mobile businesses could operate outside these districts only at Town Council approved special events.
Campground Overlay districts are located at various locations in town, and have been created to establish areas for campgrounds. The Amusement Overlay district is in the downtown near the waterfront where the Palace Playland amusement park is located.
Existing mobile food businesses located in front of The Pier which are not in the Amusement Overlay district would be grandfathered in, should the ordinance be approved, said Town Planner Jeffrey Hinderliter at Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting.
To better define food establishments such as Lisa’s Pizza and Pier Fries, which are carry out food businesses with no seating located in permanent buildings, a new category of restaurants has been established called “takeout food businesses,” said Hinderliter. Under the proposed ordinance change, takeout food businesses would be allowed in the Amusement Overlay district as well as in the general downtown area.
“There was quite a bit of research that went into this,” said Hinderliter. He said the Planning Board and the Planning Department believe the proposed ordinance achieves what the Town Council was seeking in an ordinance.
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