Zoning panel OKs changes to mobile food vendor code

November 3, 2018 GMT

BULLHEAD CITY — Several local mobile food vendors came to Thursday’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting with questions on how proposed city code amendments would comply with new Arizona law.

“The city is not trying to impose any additional regulations on your business,” said Commission Chairman Mel Stein. “What the city is trying to do is by modifying their code make them in compliance with the state regulations that were passed in May.”

A bill, signed into law by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, streamlines operation of mobile food vendors by creating a statewide licensing standard developed by Arizona Department of Health Services.

The bill curtails regulations by varying city and county ordinances that limit mobile vendor hours of operation and how close they can park to restaurants and other buildings. The new law creates one state license and among other changes, allows food vendors to have the same hours as a restaurant and prohibits municipalities from regulations blocking mobile food vendors from parking in public areas.

“The state set some guidelines in what the city can and can’t restrict,” said Johnny Loera, Bullhead City Planning and Zoning planner. “So what we’re proposing is — things like requiring trash bins, lights if you’re operating at night — but as long as you have your state permit or health department permit, it’s been inspected, you still have to get a business license, but we’re not going to require any further inspections as a city.”

Previous city code did not address food vending at all, Loera said.

Commissioners unanimously passed the proposed changes to city code amendments, which will be forwarded for approval by City Council members at the Nov. 20 meeting.

Members also approved a conditional use permit to allow a continuous outdoor display of sheds in a C2 General Commercial zoning district at Gas & Grub, 2996 Highway 68. The permit allows 5 sheds on display and an additional 5 on the property behind a screened fence. The applicant said no signage other than on the sheds would be added to the property.

Members also approved a zoning map change to allow the applicant additional time to obtain permits for a commercial project on a parcel of land located at the northwest corner of Highway 68 and Landon Drive.

A representative for the applicant told Commissioners the property is near escrow stage in a sale to developers who want to build storage units on the property.