YBA Proposes Food Truck Ordinance

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The Yelm Business Association proposed to the Yelm City Council regulations for food trucks to operate in the city limits on Tuesday.

Currently the city does not have any regulations in place regarding food trucks, YBA Executive Director Dan Crowe said. By not having any regulations to specifically allow food trucks it is more difficult for the city to permit for them, effectively prohibiting them.

“Not allowing a class of business to operate in this town is against free market principles,” Crowe said. “Food trucks give local entrepreneurs the opportunity to start their own business and create jobs in their hometown.”

The proposal introduced by the YBA is based off of ordinances from Lacey and Olympia, Crowe said. It provides procedures for permitting as well as sanitation and locations of where they can park and were the taxes go from the sales.

“I think we could add some color to the city,” said Aria Cissney, co-owner of Butt Naked Organics food truck. “I’ve grown up here, we’d love to be part of the community.”

Cissney and her friend and co-owner, Christen Cormancy, currently operate their food truck in the Lacey and Olympia area as well as at the Yelm Farmers Market on Sundays. But with colder weather on the horizon they would like to operate their truck, where they serve everything from burgers to veggie wraps and gluten free meals, closer to home.

By allowing food trucks Crowe hopes the people driving through Yelm will stop and eat at one of the food trucks, and while doing so they will shop at the local stores. Food trucks also increase foot traffic in town, which will also help the local stores.

The food trucks will not compete with the traditional brick and mortar restaurants, Crowe said. They offer two different dining experiences. One is a nice sit-down meal and the other is a quick bite to eat while walking around looking at shops. Crowe added, in Lacey there are at least 10 food trucks operating and the restaurants have not seen any decline in business.   

The city council was open to the idea of looking at the proposed ordinance from the YBA. Councilor Tad Stillwell said he wanted to discuss it at the next study session on Oct. 5. Councilor Joe DePinto was also supportive of the measure.

“I would really like to see this put on a study session agenda,” Stillwell said.

Crowe said the YBA will work with the council and provide any support they can. The council will discuss it at the next study session on Oct. 5 in the Public Safety Building.

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