City Council has been discussing how it deals with the use of food trucks within the city limits. The topic was initially broached at the Council’s Building and Building Codes Committee meeting in July. They have continued the conversation at the September meeting.
North Royalton Community Development Director, Tom Jordan initially addressed City Council on the topic in July, saying that he had the Law, Building, and Fire dpartments look into it. He said that typically, food trucks may come to construction sites, which are unregulated. In North Royalton, food trucks are required to get a special event permit and it is typically done during the city’s annual festival.
Resident Mike McDonald stated that, “It’s an opportunity for some economic growth in the city. Food Truck industry was approximately $1 billion, seven or eight years ago; today is about $3 billion. The overall food industry is about $800 billion, so this is a very small, less than a half of a percent of the overall food industry.” He said that it is a creative way that people could start with a relatively small investment and possibly then start a brick and mortar business. “They can also be complimentary to some of our existing businesses.”
Ryan Sacha, owner of the Blue Monkey Brewery stated that “this is a huge part of the Blue Monkey.” He said when he started the business, he envisioned utilizing food trucks and that North Royalton is where he wanted the Blue Monkey to be. He said that the space can only accommodate the brewery. “Why does the city have regulations on food trucks,” he asked. “Why would you be against having them in the city.” Jordan responded by saying that “there is a lack of regulation actually, other than it is lumped into a special event permit.” Sacha responded by noted that it brings people to the area. “It’s not like a lot of cities, where there’s a lot of food options.” He noted that his patrons are asking for more food trucks.
Jordan stated that “currently we are not changing the city ordinances regarding Food trucks. Presently, the food trucks are allowable under a special event permit, processed by the Mayor’s department.” Council President Paul Marnecheck noted that “we’re not specifically tailoring something to the Blue Monkey.” Ward 5 Council Vince Weimer stated that “we have cities around us that do this very well. He gave the example of Strongsville, who has a few food trucks and they don’t have them all over. “Let’s go find out what the other cities are doing and adjust what we are doing.”
Ward 1 Council Linda Barath stated that “we’ll have the Director of Legislation Services look at legislation. Jordan noted that “we actually did look at other communities, but because of COVID and the fact that we are going into the winter, we stopped. We will turn over the information to Council to continue.” The topic remains on the agenda of the Building and Building Codes Committee for future discussion.

Contributing Writer