Breckenridge bans new food carts for 1 year |

Breckenridge bans new food carts for 1 year

Summit Daily file photo/Mark Fox

New food carts and temporary food vendor carts will not be allowed to set up shop in the town of Breckenridge, at least for a while, due to a ban approved by the town council Tuesday night.

Several new carts have popped up around town recently, causing concerns about the impacts of the businesses – particularly on the look and feel of Breckenridge.

Council members voted unanimously in favor of a one-year moratorium on new carts and other temporary food service enterprises Tuesday to allow town officials time to research issues related to the carts and ultimately draft a regulatory ordinance.

“It’s kind of a multi-faceted animal that I don’t think I ever anticipated,” Breckenridge Mayor John Warner said during a council discussion earlier this month.

The moratorium allows existing carts to continue to operate.

Current town regulations deal with vendor carts only superficially, most notably requiring they be no larger than 100 square feet, sell only food or beverages intended for immediate consumption and provide positive community impacts.

Under current town ordinance, temporary vendor carts, wagons or booths can operate on private property for no more than three years.

While the moratorium is in place, town officials will explore additional issues, including whether temporary vendor carts should be required to pay water tap (water and sewage) fees, allowable locations for the businesses and whether carts should have to provide parking.

Aesthetics are another key consideration, particularly for carts and temporary vendors setting up shop in the historic district of downtown Breckenridge.

The discussions will likely also extend to the future of food trucks, popular at construction sites, and pop-up restaurants in Breckenridge.

Pop-up restaurants – temporary eateries that take over an existing location for a limited period of time operating on online social networks – are a growing trend in bigger cities. They have yet to appear in Breckenridge, but councilman and local restaurant owner Eric Mamula said the potential for such establishments, as well as existing temporary vendors, call for discussions about specific regulations.

“I want to talk about things like seating,” Mamula said. “How do we regulate seating? I’d like to talk about signage. If somebody has a temporary hot dog cart, should they be allowed to have signage?”

The moratorium excludes small, mobile vendor businesses, popular at summer festivals and events.

Town staff members and the town council will also use the moratorium to explore solutions and regulations in other municipalities and meet with people interested in the final ordinance.

The moratorium was passed in response to a request from the Breckenridge Restaurant Association, whose members were concerned about the impacts of temporary vendors on the town.

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