Wellesley looking for public input as it ponders controls on food truck

Wellesley residents can show their disapproval or support for allowing food truck vendors in the township at an upcoming public meeting on June 7.

“Under our current regulations we haven’t found anything that can stop a food truck. You would be able to operate until the bylaw is created,” said township chief administrative officer Rik Louwagie.

A food truck sitting at the gas station in Wellesley village has sparked conversation in the township, says Mayor Joe Nowak. The owner of said food truck intends to open as soon as he gets servicing in. He’s had discussions with township staff and he meets the property standards, so nothing’s standing in his way.

He also points out that many other communities are dealing with the same issue of how to best regulate them.

“The food truck that’s in Wellesley right now is not the reason why we’re bringing this bylaw forward,” Louwagie adds. “It’s actually been coming to the forefront for the last two or three years already. Staff has been starting to prepare a little bit for this. I think this maybe gave it an extra little nudge, but it’s not the reason for this.”

Nowak says it’s become a divisive topic in the community and the public process should be interesting, with good discussion from both sides.

“Those opposed are a wide range. It’s not just other businesses. And those who support, there’s also a wide range. I think a lot of the other communities are dealing with a similar issue. Some of the rural municipalities don’t allow them at all. Waterloo is struggling with it right now. That’s why I think it’s a good idea to do this and the sooner the better,” Nowak said.

Once you have a business like this there are a lot of issues that can develop from it, he said. The township needs to think about how many they want to allow, if any, how close they could be to neighbouring businesses, and what hours they could operate, for starters.

“I think that we have to regulate this one way or another,” Nowak said.

Louwagie also had a word of advice for the councillors.

“It seems to be a fairly hot topic over the last few weeks, so if people are coming to you as councillors wanting to have a discussion about this I would urge you to have them come to this open public meeting so that all councillors can hear what they have to say.”

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