Food trucks get green light in Provo

The restricted areas for food trucks in downtown Provo is outlined in this map. (Photo courtesy Provo city)

The restricted areas for food trucks in downtown Provo is outlined in this map. (Photo courtesy Provo city)

Provo now has a food truck law that keeps the mobile restaurants out of the downtown district — with some exceptions, and requires background checks for owners and drivers and a business license to operate, while still allowing for the Thursday Food Truck Roundup.

At a work meeting two weeks ago about a draft ordinance on the new rules, the council decided to have some council members meet with members of the local food truck association and restaurant association to find some agreement. One of the major changes in the last two weeks is that background checks won’t be required of all food truck employees.

Councilwoman Kim Santiago said the city wants food trucks to succeed.

“Let’s make this as easy as possible on them; yet, we still need some regulations,” she said.

Some highlights of the new law:

— Food trucks are prohibited in the Food Truck Restriction Area, which is a T-shaped zone extending from 500 West up 100 North and 100 South to 100 West, then out to 200 South and 200 North to 200 East. However, the mayor’s office can grant permission for a food truck to operate in that area. The trucks also can operate in the restricted area if they’re catering a private event or are invited to a special event.

— Multiple food trucks are allowed to park on the same side of the street, on the same block.

— Background checks are required of the owners and drivers of food trucks, but food prep workers and any other employees who don’t drive won’t be required to pass the checks. No restaurant employees are required to have them.

Council attorney Brian Jones said food trucks have safety concerns that restaurants don’t because they’re moving. Taxi drivers and tow truck drivers — other permissible mobile businesses in Provo — also are required to pass background checks.

— A background check is failed if a person has a conviction in the past 10 years for a DUI, alcohol- or drug-related reckless driving, impaired driving, automobile homicide, a violent offense, theft, possession or use of a deadly weapon, possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute or any crime of moral turpitude.

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