Pelham to consider food truck licensing

The Pelham City Council confirmed they will consider options for licensing food trucks. (File)

The Pelham City Council confirmed they will consider options for licensing food trucks. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—Food trucks may soon be allowed to operate in Pelham. The City Council confirmed they would research licensing options during a Nov. 17 City Council work session.

“All we want to do is review the current requirements,” City Council President Rick Hayes said during a Nov. 21 phone interview. “We all are cognizant that there are some additional things we can do there.”

The city’s regulations currently do not allow for food trucks, Pelham Finance Director Tom Seale confirmed. In order to operate at an event in the city, a food truck vendor must obtain a catering license and receive Health Department approval with each location change.

“We just didn’t have a category for food trucks,” City Councilman Ron Scott said during a Nov. 21 phone interview. “I thought it just didn’t make any sense to me. We may be missing opportunities for income because those trucks aren’t coming to the city. Their sales made in the city would be subject to (Pelham) sales tax.”

Seale said he has pulled together information about food truck regulations from various cities, including Calera, which does not allow food trucks, Homewood, Hoover, Vestavia, Birmingham and Alabaster, which approved licensing for mobile vendors during a June 23 City Council meeting.

“We want to make sure we attack it the right way,” Hayes said.

Even with an operating license, food trucks would be subject to city zoning regulations.

“Of course, the zoning laws would kick in,” Seale said. “They cannot be in residential areas, (they can be) in commercial parking lots with permission, and things of that nature.”

The move to consider food truck licensing options was inspired by conversations and requests from residents and business owners, Scott said.

“The food market has evolved to where food trucks have become very popular,” Scott said. “They would benefit not only those vendors, but the city and, of course, our residents who would like to see those food trucks.”