Mesa is making it easier for mobile food operators to do business in the City. The Mesa City Council voted this evening to amend its Mobile Food Vendor Code to make its distance requirements from residential properties consistent with state laws and other Maricopa County municipalities. The ordinance also provides a new exemption for food vendors from having to acquire a license if they participate in four or fewer special events per calendar year and have a current fire inspection.
"These updates to Mesa's Food Vendor Code bring our City into alignment with standards across the state. Food trucks travel across Maricopa County and having consistency helps ease the bureaucratic burden on small businesses," said Mayor John Giles.
By mirroring the Mesa code to state statute, the City will increase the distance requirements for mobile food vendors operating in residential areas. Currently, food vendors may do business as close as 25 feet from a single-family home; the new law sets a minimum distance of 250 feet.
As a part of the modification to the ordinance, Mesa City Council also voted to expand the exceptions to the residential distance requirement, providing more options for mobile food vendors. The 250-foot separation requirement in an area zoned for residential use would be waived for mobile food units if it:
Operates on private property and is allowed as part of a Council-approved ordinance or resolution with a site plan or development agreement; or, three or less mobile food units are operating at one time, and they don't operate on the property more than four days a year
Operates at a licensed or permitted special event
Primarily sells ice cream novelties
Is parked in the right-of-way adjacent to private property on not more than four days per year
"Mobile food businesses are an important community of small businesses in Mesa. We are committed to offering programs that assist these businesses in being successful and are working toward an incubator program that removes barriers to food business ownership," added Mayor Giles.
The new ordinance takes effect on March 1, 2022.
Contact: Kevin Christopher