Wellesley council is taking a wait and see approach on the issue of food trucks and where they fall under township bylaws.
Tara Schneider, a Wellesley resident, appeared before council on April 26, questioning the legality of a food truck that has been recently placed at the Wellesley Service Centre at 1220 Queen’s Bush Road.
She had questions surrounding what bylaws the new business would fall under, and whether current legislation permitted the food truck to open.
There is a public meeting scheduled for the June 7 council meeting to deal with the subject, however, the food truck in question plans to open before the public meeting date.
Schneider hired a private consultant to look at the location, the bylaws and the food truck, and he had determined that the business was illegal – an opinion she agreed with and used to back her position.
“The truck does not meet existing bylaws,” she told councilors and staff. “Our bylaws state exactly how the land is to be used. What then is this trailer’s proposed use on this private property? This trailer does not meet any of our defined permitted uses in the urban commercial zone. And I cannot emphasize this enough: if the bylaws are silent, if a use is not defined, if a use is not a permitted use with a zone, then it cannot be considered a permitted use.”
CAO Rik Louwagie reminded Schneider that there was a public meeting scheduled to deal with this very topic.
“That is presumably a meeting for public discussion for future mobile food trucks or food trailers or refreshment vehicles. I am only here to talk this evening about the trailer that is opening for business next weekend,” said Schneider. “My opinion, based on [hired consultant’s opinion] is that it is illegal and it shouldn’t be allowed to open for business.”
Mayor Nowak informed Schneider that the food truck’s legality has been up for discussion in previous weeks, and it was determined that the business was in line with current laws.
“There have been discussions with staff, and at the time, with staff opinion, that the individual complied with what we had available at the time,” he said, mentioning that the decision could be challenged. “So, I think we have to go with what we have now, and you have every right to challenge that, and we will just have to see how it plays out.”
The next council meeting is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. on May 10.
The food truck debate will be back on the agenda on June 7 with the public welcome to attend and have their say.