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Naperville City Council Exploring Food Truck Regulations

The city of Naperville is exploring whether to impose regulations on food trucks that operate on private property.

Last night the Naperville City Council discussed the idea of putting new rules into place. Currently, there is no ordinance on the books to regulate food trucks on private property.

The issue was first brought to the city’s attention last month when former Naperville City Councilman Dick Furstenau raised a concern about a food truck and how it may interfere with access in and around a gas station at the corner of Ogden Avenue and Royal St. George Drive.

Furstenau returned to council again last night, asking officials to discuss the issue.  “What I’d like to do is at least get this on the agenda before it turns into something more than it should,” Furstenau said.

Some council members said they have received phone calls and emails from residents both in support and against regulations for food trucks.

Councilwoman Patty Gustin said she would like city staff to look into the issue. “We’ve got brick and mortar up that way that are closing,” Gustin said. “Braconi’s just closed up. … But I think as far as a city, we should really know what our requirements are and if we need to keep our requirements the same or up our requirements.”

She suggested checking into the city of Aurora’s protocol.

Mayor Steve Chirico agreed with Gustin, but said he is torn over the issue.

“I want to be careful we don’t stimy the entrepreneurship,” Chirico said.

Councilwoman Jennifer Bruzan Taylor said the problem comes down to fairness. She noted that the city requires some vendors, such as those running Christmas tree lots, to satisfy permit requirements.

“For me, it’s either we have permitting for all or we have permitting for none,” Bruzan Taylor said.

Councilman Benny White said he would support the city in looking into the matter if it means the city can get a better handle on businesses and whether they owe the city funding from property and food/beverage taxes.

But not everyone on the council takes issue with food trucks setting up shop on private property.

“I’m hesitant to start drafting a whole set of regulations over something that’s not causing a problem,” Councilman Patrick Kelly said.

The mayor asked city staff to take a look at the best practices and guidelines put in place by neighboring towns of comparable size and report back to council.

Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.

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