Vancouver rolls out details on food cart changes
Proposed changes to Vancouver's food cart program — intended to curb permit rentals and sales — could also limit the number of locations allowed for each business. (24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)
Plans to change up Vancouver’s food-cart system to crackdown on licence-lords renting out city permits for a profit, include limiting the number of locations each business can have.
Coun. Heather Deal said Thursday the changes could, for example, potentially limit the expansion of the successful Japadog business that now has three street-vending locations around the city — or any other business that has multiple street locations.
The proposed bylaw revision would mean businesses could have a maximum of four street-food-vending locations, with three of them allowed to be mobile.
Under the proposed changes, the city’s enforcement mechanisms will also be streamlined and renting or selling food-cart permits is prohibited.
Deal noted 17 locations around the city are currently empty — despite having permit holders for those spots.
She said those holders would be given a “limited time” to field their own businesses at the spots or they would come up for grabs for new applicants.
“In the case where somebody is (currently) subletting their permit, they’ll have an opportunity to open a cart on their own spot.”
Kaboom Box food cart owner Andy Fieldingis is permitted for two locations. He’s currently waiting to see how the changes might play out when council is asked to make a decision Feb. 19.
Coun. Kerry Jang said the city’s numbers show less than a third of the 110 stationary-cart licenses are being rented out.
“That’s why it’s a problem,” he said. “We’ll help those people who are … being gouged right now.”
Deal added halting the issuing of new permits would, however, continue to be in effect even after a bylaw revision is approved.
Japadog owner Noriki Tamura wasn’t immediately available for comment.