UG eases rules for food trucks, farmers markets and mobile markets

As part of the county’s ongoing COVID-19 Recovery Plan, the Unified Government Commissioners approved an emergency resolution and ordinance on July 30 that allows food trucks, farmer’s markets, and mobile markets countywide with certain standards.

Specifically, the ordinance allows mobile vending (such as food trucks, pushcarts, and mobile markets) and farmer’s markets in all zone districts with additional and specific standards.

In response to comments from businesses, the commissioners also updated the first emergency ordinance to allow semi-permanent use of front and side yard setback with an administrative review, as well as semi-permanent use of surplus (not required) off-street parking.

The resolution temporarily suspends enforcement of certain sections of the existing UG code of ordinances in order to provide Wyandotte County businesses trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic more locations in which to operate in accordance with guidelines asking them to provide adequate room for proper social distancing between staff and customers. This means maintaining a distance of at least six (6) feet between workers, customers and others while in public.

“Recognizing Wyandotte County businesses would need assistance and flexibility as they worked to get their operations back up and running, I previously directed UG staff to identify opportunities and areas in which we might be able to help and support in that recovery process,” Mayor David Alvey stated in a news release. “This new ordinance allows businesses to temporarily create added outdoor space for retail customer sales, utilizing sidewalks, parking lot spaces, and other areas to sell their products and serve their customers, while still maintaining proper social distancing guidelines. It’s a win-win situation for residents and business owners, and a common-sense approach to governing in these unique and unprecedented times.”

Farmer’s markets are allowed countywide so long as they are wholly within a parking lot with an administrative review by the Department of Planning and Urban Design. Mobile markets have expanded hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. All other mobile vendors can operate from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. in residential and agricultural zones but must be located either within the parking lot of a church, senior center, community center or school, or adjacent to a public park. Mobile vendors can also attend a certified block party up to 10 p.m. as well. In commercial and industrial zones, mobile vendors need only to feed the parking meter if there is one and not park in front of an existing food establishment.

Farmer’s markets, mobile vendors, and mobile markets need only to obtain a business license and follow the above standards to operate throughout the county; none need to obtain an annual agreement with the UG while the emergency ordinance is in effect.

The ordinance is in effect until Dec. 31, 2020. It allows businesses within Wyandotte County to temporarily use the public right-of-way for the sale of goods as long appropriate access to services can be provided under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and that social distancing is maintained.

Businesses providing alcohol sales are required to go through the normal Kansas Alcohol Beverage Control approvals process.  Failing to do so will trigger an automatic review.  

Unified Government health officials caution that it’s important to continue to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19.

“COVID-19 remains a threat in our community,” said Dr. Allen Greiner, chief medical officer with the Unified Government Health Department. “While it’s exciting to see our businesses reopening, everyone needs to continue to practice safe social distancing, wear a mask when in public, stay home and seek testing if you are sick, and continue with excellent hygiene such as washing your hands frequently with soap and water, covering your cough and not touching your face with your hands. It’s the combination of these actions that has been most effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our community.” 

Residents or business owners with questions about this change should contact 3-1-1.

To view the documents, visit wycokck.org/Clerk/Agendas and select the “Planning & Zoning and Full Commission 7/30/20” under the “Agendas and Minutes” section.  To view a video of the July 30 special meeting, visit the Unified Government’s (UG) YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiFi_7TPsVk.

To learn more about Planning and Urban Design, visit wycokck.org/Planning.  To learn more about the county’s COVID-19 response, access important resources, and view additional information, visit wycokck.org/COVID-19.

  • Information from UG

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