Food trucks that operate in Littleton will need to comply with a new program meant to ensure they're clean, safe and paying their share of taxes. Under the pilot program, food and vendor trucks will …
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Food trucks that operate in Littleton will need to comply with a new program meant to ensure they're clean, safe and paying their share of taxes.
Under the pilot program, food and vendor trucks will be required to register with the city in addition to any previously held business or sales tax licenses.
While the registration is free, food trucks must comply with a variety of regulations: they can only use city property if associated with a city event, and can only park on private property in accordance with “accessory use” zoning regulations. Food trucks may only operate between 7 a.m. and midnight, and must be stored indoors after hours or otherwise removed from the property as spelled out in their permit.
Food trucks must also collect all appropriate city taxes, and submit proof that customers and employees have access to a restroom with hand-washing facilities within 300 feet, or a hand-washing station if using a portable toilet.
Food trucks must reapply with the city annually.
The city will evaluate the registration program's success in a year, said economic development specialist Colton Harguth.
“We're hoping this program will encourage sales tax remittance from food trucks, and eliminate some of the negative externalities we've seen associated with food truck operation within city limits,” Harguth said in an email.
City staff have dealt with improper disposal of cooking oil and fat into city sewers, Harguth said, and with complaints about increased foot and vehicle traffic around food trucks.
Regulations like Littleton's are becoming pretty standard in the food truck industry, said Paul Norton, who operates Lucky Mary's Baking and Sweets, a food truck that sells desserts like funnel cakes, cupcakes and ice cream.
“All the regulations are in place for a reason,” Norton said. “They keep us and our customers safe. If we didn't have them, people would just do whatever they want.”
Unlike brick-and-mortar establishments, food truck owners have to comply with different regulations in every municipality they visit, Norton said, as well as a variety of fire codes.
Still, Norton said, the fun of attending events and serving goodies to people makes it all worthwhile — all the more so in Littleton.
“I love Littleton,” Norton said. “It's a wonderful town, and the people are great. They host great events. The registration piece is no problem.”
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