DOWNERS GROVE – Village diners will soon see some new, more mobile options when looking for a bite to eat.
During its July 5 meeting, the Downers Grove Village Council unanimously approved a food truck pilot program and will soon award permits to 10 vendors. Food trucks can begin operation once the application process complete and approved by the village
Mayor Martin Tully explained that the measure drew from those in a number of other local communities and said he was glad to get the program going after the need was identified.
"This is an opportunity where we can help facilitate the success of business in our community," Tully said. "Yes this is an experiment, though it is an informed experiment."
The ordinance will allow up to 10 permitted vendors to operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Each permit will be issued on a first-come, first serve basis and cost $250 annually.
Vendors will only be allowed to sell food at Ellsworth Business Park and public parks owned and operated by the Downers Grove Park District, subject to the park district's consent.
The ordinance also allows for private property owners to give up to three vendors permission to sell on their property, but there will be a hard 500-foot boundary around existing licensed food establishments and schools.
When discussing the food truck measure at the June 28 meeting, Tull said that many communities have found that food trucks are a good way for businesses to establish themselves in the community before the large capital investment of a brick and mortar location without damaging already existing businesses.
The mayor also promised the council will look at the success and popularity of the pilot in the coming months to adjust any parameters, including cost of permits and the number of licenses.
Councilman William Waldack, who continued to express concern for existing Downers Grove restaurants, said he hopes the program will prove popular among new and old businesses alike.
"This is an experiment, and I look forward to the staff report in coming months to see how it's working out," he said.
To learn more about the regulations on the program or to apply to be a vendor, visit downers.us/govt/village-managers-office/mobile-food-vendors.