ST. CHARLES – Food trucks can now operate on private property in the city.
At the April 15 St. Charles City Council meeting, aldermen unanimously approved amending the city’s zoning ordinance to allow for food trucks. Food trucks will now be able to operate at private events not open to the public and at events associated with a special event permit approved by the city.
In addition, food trucks will be able to operate in association with a temporary outdoor sales permit approved by the city. As part of the new rules, operation of the food truck is limited to two days in any seven-day period during normal business hours of the permanent business.
Also, food trucks can operate in association with a restaurant or bar (including breweries), where the food truck is offered in conjunction with the permanent business. In that instance as well, operation of the food truck is limited to two days in any seven-day period during normal business hours of the permanent business.
The new rules also narrow the definition of temporary outdoor sales to sale of goods related to the principal business on the property or seasonal products such as Christmas trees. Food trucks will not be considered temporary outdoor sales.
In a memo to aldermen, city planner Ellen Johnson said food trucks have grown in popularity nationwide.
“Occasionally, staff has received inquiries from food truck owners seeking to operate on private property in St. Charles,” Johnson had said. “The zoning ordinance does not specifically address food trucks. As a result, staff has not been able to provide clear direction to food truck owners seeking to operate on private property.”
She noted that food trucks operating on public property during special events or festivals are approved as part of the special event permit.
In January, St. Charles firefighters shut down the Kane County Food Truck Festival inside Robinson Hall at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles after firefighters found elevated levels of carbon monoxide. Some attendees became ill because of the elevated levels of carbon monoxide. The Kane County Fairgrounds is located within the city’s corporate limits and the property is subject to city zoning and permitting regulations, Johnson said in an email.