Thursday, June 4, 2020

CB council ready to consider expanding outdoor vending regs

But want to hear from public before allowing more food and retail trucks

By Mark Reaman

The Crested Butte Town Council will consider making some changes to the local outdoor vending regulations dealing with things such as food and retail carts. The council had been asked to reconsider some of the regulations by Fletcher Haver, who was proposing a food truck operation to be used at local construction sites while sometimes using True Value as a lunch base. He withdrew that request but local resident Laci Wright asked the council to clarify the rules and allow retail trucks.

Wright said she witnessed how well such trucks worked in Hawaii and felt they “could be a cool addition to town without taking away from the local brick-and-mortar establishments.”

Wright presented an outline of her business idea to the council that would utilize a family-owned 1972 GMC milk-truck–style van, from which she would sell locally designed and printed t-shirts, hoodies, hats and other such goods. She anticipates opening four days a week primarily in the afternoon between mid-June through September. She is looking at several potential locations to set up shop on private commercially zoned properties including True Value, the vacant lot on Elk Avenue next to Synergy Athlete and near the Big Mine Skate Park by Mikey’s Pizza.

Town clerk Lynelle Stanford gave the council background information at the May 4 meeting. Two merchandise carts are currently allowed in town under the vending regulations. No such licenses are issued at the moment. The carts must be located on private property. The regulations also allow food carts at the Four-way Stop and late-night food trucks on Elk Avenue.

“The biggest issue I see is allowing mobile units to come in without abiding by the same rules as the brick-and-mortar businesses next door,” said Crested Butte community development director Michael Yerman. “Things like parking and affordable housing requirements. It will also generate parking issues. Be cognizant of the impacts of taking up a parking space and then generating the need for more parking by attracting people. True Value already has tight parking. On Elk Avenue there are planters, bike racks, outdoor seating. At some point you get to critical mass. The current regulations with the Four-way works because it is not as congested there.”

Mayor Jim Schmidt said he would be interested in adding merchandise trucks to the category that would allow them on private property.

Councilman Chris Haver suggested the issue of trucks using generators should be looked at from a noise perspective.

The council loved the idea of encouraging more late-night food trucks. They were also willing to look at adjusting the town regulations to allow food trucks to visit construction sites off of Elk Avenue during certain times of the day.

The council members asked staff to come up with some general parameters to expand the outdoor vending ordinance but wanted to make sure the public had an opportunity to comment on any changes to the outdoor vending regulations, especially if adding things like food and retail trucks. They will continue to discuss the matter at the May 21 council meeting.

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