[Harvey Thorsen, 8 months, hangs out with family friend Travis Hemming of Batavia during a food truck event at Nosh in Geneva.]
The cons are that they are viewed as unfair competition by brick-and-mortar restaurants that carry heavier costs of operation, they impact parking and traffic, and if food is just picked up, there is no multiplier effect, she said.
It also can be challenging to collect sales tax from food truck vendors, Tymoszenko said.
Food trucks must have a valid mobile food license issued by the health department and meet sanitation standards and have restroom access, she said.
Food trucks and mobile food units are allowed in Geneva as part of special events and festivals, Tymoszenko said. Zoning regulations prohibit outdoor sales in certain areas, while other areas are allowed on a case-by-case basis.
Geneva staff will be working on creating a new license category for food trucks with restrictions such as operating time, frequency, site concerns and how people move on the site, she said.
'They can't randomly set up'
St. Charles has seen a decline in inquiries from food truck operators, according to Bob Vann, building and code enforcement division manager for the city.
Food trucks are permitted at special events and some private gatherings in St. Charles.
"They can’t randomly set up in any location to sell to the public," Vann said. "If it's a special event like Scarecrow Fest [or] at the farmer’s markets, that’s permitted. [At a] block party or private event [such as] a corporate event in an industrial park, that’s private use. That’s fine.
They can’t set up in a parking lot and start selling to the public."
He said the city has made three licenses available for purchase each year to operate a food cart or push-behind trailer on a specific stretch of public property near the Fox River. Over the years, Kimmer's Ice Cream has operated one, he cited as example.