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Utah governor signs legislation cutting down on red tape for food trucks

Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune Food trucks on the Hill on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, bring attention to SB250 sponsored by Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, that helps reduce red tape for food trucks.

Gov. Gary Herbert on Monday signed legislation cutting red tape for food trucks, such as barring cities from prohibiting food trucks where zoning allows other restaurants.

SB167 also bans cities from limiting the number of days trucks may operate, requiring a land-use permit for each site they operate, charging separate fees for every employee of each truck or requiring food truck employees to pass a criminal background check.

The measure comes a year after the Legislature passed a more sweeping food truck bill. It allowed reciprocity for licenses and inspections between various cities and counties, and stopped food-truck owners from the necessity of obtaining licenses and inspections in numerous cities — often with conflicting criteria.


Feb 27: Legislature serving up help for food trucks

Legislators are serving up some extra help for food trucks to more easily navigate troublesome rules in some cities.

The House Political Subdivisions Committee unanimously endorsed SB167 on Tuesday, and sent it to the House for final approval, to do such things as bar cities from prohibiting food trucks where zoning allows other restaurants. The bill earlier passed the Senate on a 26-1 vote.

The bill also would ban cities from limiting the number of days trucks may operate, requiring a land use permit for each site they operate, charging separate fees for every employee of each truck and requiring food truck employees to pass a criminal background check.

“That’s quite discriminatory,” said Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, sponsor of the bill, about how some jurisdictions required a criminal background to work in a food truck. “Maybe that’s something you do for an ice cream truck that chases down kids — but not a food truck.”

Henderson said the bill cleans up a few remaining problems and misunderstandings after she passed a more sweeping food truck bill last year.

That allowed reciprocity for licenses and inspections between various cities and counties, and stopped food truck owners from the necessity of obtaining licenses and inspections in numerous cities — often with conflicting criteria.

Henderson said that bill has saved food trucks “tens of thousands of dollars” in regulatory costs in the past year, and has helped that industry to spread.

Some tasty lobbying may have helped her bill this year. Food trucks have come to the Capitol several days a week during the Legislature during lunch to offer different fare than the standard offerings at the Capitol cafeteria.