Bylaws governing mobile food vendors will make their way back to chambers in May for final approval.
An operation base bylaw as well as a mobile food vendor bylaw will both be looking for second and third readings which will govern how and where mobile food vendors can operate, as well as costs associated to permitting and licensing.
In fall of 2016, public consultation took place and it was very evident, that the majority of Cochranites love food trucks; out of 315 respondents, 75.6% love them.
Kemi Apanisile, Town of Cochrane Planner, says although bylaws are being created it does not mean conditions can't or won't be changed in the future. A big part of the consultation involved discussions around creating designated parking for the mobile vendors, however, at this time that component is being taken off the table.
"We decided at this juncture that we're going to revisit it after we look at the parking needs for the entire historic downtown. Administration has been mandated to look at a strategic parking study so once that has been finalized and we have a better understanding of the parking needs of Cochrane we can revisit the idea of allocating designated mobile food vendor on street sites."
After first reading, it may have appeared that red tape and roadblocks were being created for mobile food trucks but Apanisile says that is just not the case.
"The bylaw if it gets passed by council won't include the designated on street parking, now, that's not to say in the future it will not be put in place. We have had discussions with our stakeholders and people that operate within town and I know it is something that they ideally would want now rather than in the future. That is absolutely justifiable, just from the town's perspective it is something we would want to do in the long term than in the immediate future."
Darcy Scott, owner of Grilled, says he is hopeful all will work out.
"For me it's a food truck program that is viable for the Town of Cochrane and food trucks. I would still like to pursue the designated parking and put forward some scenarios and have my questions answered."
If the bylaws are approved, food truck(s) this season will set up at all the same haunts as last year like the Cochrane Ranche and RancheHouse parking lot, Curling Club/ Big Hill Pool lot, Riverfront Park, Mitford/ Skateboard Park as well as the possibility of Main Street if they meet the required set backs.
Apanisile says the bylaws intent is not to harm or deter other mobile food vendors from coming to Cochrane.
"We hope as administration it becomes a part of Cochrane and it attracts more food trucks to the area. If that's the case there's always room to change the bylaw; no bylaw is static there is always room to amend it, that is the purpose of it."
A public hearing will take place in Chambers on Monday evening (April 24) to discuss the operation base portion of the bylaw. This bylaw will carry many of the same characteristics that a major home based business faces as well as regulate location of vehicle storage, office space, product storage, and food preparation space.