Mobile Food Vendor

Subdivision III. – Mobile Food Vendors

Sec. 4-2153. – Applicability, purpose and intent.

This subdivision provides minimum regulations for mobile food vendors and food stands. The purpose and intent of this subdivision is to provide regulations for mobile food vendors and food stands, as their use is listed in section 4-408(c)(29) Group III and section 4-408(c)(43) Group I, food stands. The provisions below are intended to provide economic development and entrepreneurial opportunities for applicable businesses, while protecting public health, safety, and welfare, minimizing visual impacts to the public realm, and mitigating fiscal impacts to standard restaurants and related businesses. It is not the intent of these provisions to regulate mobile food vendors from operating that are in transit, i.e., making stops at locations within the city less than a half hour per location.

Property owners that have a fixed (stationery) mobile food vendor permitted before January 1, 2013, and have made substantial improvements to the property (obtained development orders and expended at least $10,000.00 in site improvements) may continue to have a mobile food vendor on that site for eight years from adoption of the ordinance from which this subdivision is derived, subject to loss of nonconforming status per section 4-2320 et seq. The community development director may grant a two year extension to the property owner. Property owner may replace the mobile food vendor, who may remain as originally permitted. Any new mobile food vendor located at the site must comply with section 4-2156 except for the duration and physical movement of the vendor.

Sec. 4-2154. – Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this subdivision, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Commissary means an approved facility that provides support services for specific required functions of a mobile food vendor, including, but not limited to, mobile food vehicles and mobile food carts. Any food establishment permitted or licensed by a regulatory agency, such as a catering operation, restaurant, grocery store or similar establishment or any otherwise approved facility by FDACS in which food, containers, or supplies are kept, handled, prepared, packaged or stored can be considered for approval as a commissary. When not required at the mobile food establishment, commissaries may provide a three compartment sink for washing, rinsing and sanitization of equipment/utensils in addition to hand wash and rest room facilities. Services required of the commissary will be based on the food sold and the mobile food establishment type and capabilities. A private residence may not be used as a commissary (see F.S. ch. 500).

Food stand means a temporary, non-motorized food unit with limited infrastructure, which serves food and/or beverage intended for immediate consumption and does not provide indoor seating.

Mobile food cart means any non-motorized mobile food unit with limited infrastructure, which serves food and/or beverages intended for immediate consumption. Mobile food carts may not exceed six feet in length, three feet in width (exclusive of wheels), or four feet in height (exclusive of wheels and umbrellas).

Mobile food vehicle means a motorized mobile food unit, which may be self-sufficient in terms of potable water, sanitary sewer and electric utilities, and generally consists of an enclosed truck, trailer or similar vehicle, where food may be stored, prepared, cooked, and/or served. An open bed truck, van or converted automobile is not considered a mobile food vehicle and is not eligible for a mobile food vending permit pursuant to this division.

Mobile food vending permit means a permit granted by the city to a mobile food vendor to conduct food vending from a mobile food cart, vehicle, or food stand.

Mobile food vendor means any person or business selling foods other than fresh fruits or vegetables from a mobile food vehicle, mobile food cart or food stand.

Mobile food vendor group site means the temporary siting of two or more mobile food vendors on a single property during a special event, subject to an approved temporary use permit.

Sec. 4-2155. – Permit required.

No mobile food vendor shall be permitted to operate within the city unless a permit has been obtained from the department of community development.

A mobile food vendor permit granted under this subdivision authorizes a vendor to sell food and/or beverages subject to all other applicable requirements in this chapter.

Mobile food vendor permits shall be regulated as follows:

No more than five mobile food vendor permits, as defined in this subdivision, shall be in effect at any time within the city, excluding temporary use permits issued pursuant to this subdivision.

Permits shall be issued on a first come, first serve basis, and are non-transferable.

A mobile food vendor may request approval to vend at a maximum of two locations per application, subject to the submittal requirements of this subdivision.

Permits, unless sooner suspended or revoked, shall be valid for an initial period of six months from the date of issuance.

Permit holders may apply to renew the permit for a period of 12 months no sooner than 30 days prior to permit expiration.

Approved permits must be attached to the mobile food vendor unit where they are readily visible and shall include the name, mailing address, and valid phone number of the mobile food vendor unit owner and shall list the addresses and parcel identification numbers where the permit is valid.

Routine inspections may be conducted by building or fire inspectors on each mobile food vendor at any time and at any frequency deemed appropriate by the city.

Any mobile food vendor unit that has been issued a notice of health violation by the state, and on a subsequent inspection, a state inspector determines that the mobile food vendor has not corrected the violation, shall have its city-issued mobile food vendor permit revoked and food service shall cease in the city.

Submittal requirements. Applications for mobile food vendor permits must include the following information:

The name, address, telephone number, and email address of the applicant.

A description of the type of food and/or beverages to be sold.

Color photograph of the mobile food vehicle, cart or food stand depicting the current condition of the unit.

Address of proposed vending site, including the property address, property owner’s name and telephone number, and the name of the principal business located on the property (where applicable).

A site plan for each proposed vending site, drawn to scale, depicting the following information.

  • Total square footage of the property;
  • Location and square footage of the existing principal and accessory uses, where applicable;
  • Location and number of existing parking spaces, including a calculation that demonstrates the number of parking spaces required for the principal uses, and the number of parking spaces available to service the mobile food vehicle, cart or food stand pursuant to section 4-1732;
  • Proposed location for the mobile food vehicle, cart or food stand;
  • Location of ingress/egress to the site; and
  • Table demonstrating the minimum setbacks in compliance with the underlying zoning district and this subdivision.

Address of proposed location to store the mobile food vehicle, cart or food stand when not in use.

A copy of all permits and business licenses required by the state, the county and the city.

A notarized commissary agreement confirming the mobile food vendor is operating in conjunction with a licensed commissary in accordance with state statutes, where applicable. All commissaries must be pre-approved by the city prior to issuance of a mobile food vendor permit.

A notarized affidavit signed by each property owner indicating that the vendor has permission to vend on the site. The affidavit must also indicate that the property owner acknowledges the following requirements.

  • The property owner shall comply with all ordinances regarding solid waste disposal and must provide the vendor access to solid waste collection on the subject property;
  • The property owner shall require that the vendors meet all applicable federal, state and local statutes, regulations, laws, ordinances, rules and codes; including, but not limited to, permitting requirements regarding his or her specific business;
  • The property owner shall acknowledge that he understands the regulations governing mobile food vendors and will be held responsible, along with the vendor, for any code violations; and
  • The property owner shall ensure that the property will be continuously maintained in a neat, clean, and orderly manner.

Proof of business insurance, issued by an insurance company that is licenses to do business in the state, protecting the applicant from all claims for damages to property and bodily injury, including death, which may arise from operations under or in connection with mobile food vending. Such insurance shall name the city as an addition insured party and shall be in at least the amount of $500,000.00 for occurrence for injury and $200,000.00 per person.

Letters of no objections from any school, church, restaurant Group II through IV or residence within 500 feet, or where applicable pursuant to section 4-2157.

Application fee as outlined in the city’s adopted fee schedule.

Sec. 4-2156. – General standards.

The following standards shall apply to all mobile food vendor permits:

Mobile food vehicles, carts or food stands may be permitted on nonresidential zoned properties as specified in the zoning district regulations, in compliance with this subdivision.

Establishments and/or vendors governed by this subdivision shall be limited in operation on site from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Sunday, unless additional hours are permitted pursuant to this subdivision.

The mobile food vehicle or cart must physically be moved at least daily and cannot remain in a permitted vending location outside the approved hours of operation.

Maximum duration. Mobile food vehicles, carts and food stands may not vend at the same location for more than a three days per week (beginning and ending at 7:00 a.m. on Mondays). The mobile food vehicles, carts and food stands must be moved to a different location (permitted) when not in use at the permitted vending locations.

Exterior colors. Neon and fluorescent colors are prohibited. The use of black paint is limited to trim.

No products shall be sold from any mobile food vendor vehicle or cart which is stopped, standing, or parked in any public street/right-of-way, crosswalk, and/or driveway. The mobile food vehicle or cart shall not impede the flow of traffic or pedestrians on the sidewalk, or obstruct access to fire hydrants.

The mobile food vendor shall not block/interfere with required parking spaces, building access, loading areas, stormwater drainage systems, or landscape buffers associated with the principal use.

Mobile food vehicles, carts, food stands and associated displays must be located in accordance with the principal structure setbacks of the underlying property’s zoning district. Mobile food carts must be located in accordance with the accessory structure setbacks of the underlying property’s zoning district.

Parking spaces shall be provided in accordance with section 4-1732. Existing parking spaces for the principal use may count towards the required parking for the mobile food vendor use. However, at no time may the required number of parking spaces for the principal use be rendered nonconforming due to mobile food vendor use.

The sale of alcohol beverages from a mobile food vehicle or cart is prohibited.

Amplified music or other sounds from any mobile food vehicle or cart for the purposes of vending products is prohibited.

Mobile food vendors are prohibited from discharging fat, oil, grease, and waste water into the sanitary sewer system. Waste shall be properly stored and disposed of at the commissary or other permitted recycling/disposal facility.

Ice must be drained into a retention tank to be properly disposed of at the commissary or designated servicing area. No wastewater leakage will be allowed.

Sec. 4-2157. – Prohibited locations.

Mobile food vending is prohibited on all parcels zoned for residential uses.

Mobile food vending is prohibited within the Old U.S. 41 Redevelopment Overlay District (see section 4-866), unless approved pursuant to a temporary use permit for a permitted special event.

A maximum of one mobile food vendor may be permitted to vend per lot at the same time, unless the location has been permitted as a mobile food vendor group site pursuant to a temporary event/use permit.


Unless there is a letter of no objection, mobile food vehicles, carts and food stands shall not be located closer than 500 feet from

  •  Any school (noncommercial) or day care center (child).
  •  Church of place of worship.
  •  Restaurants, Groups II through IV.
  •  Any residentially used properties.

A letter of no objection is not required when the applicant subject mobile food vehicle, cart or food stand is the school, day care center, church, or Groups II through IV restaurant.

Mobile food vehicles, carts and food stands shall not be located closer than 200 feet from any other mobile food vehicle or cart, unless operating at an approved special event. For the purposes of this subsection, the distance shall be measured in a straight line from the subject mobile food vehicle, cart or food stand to the nearest mobile food vehicle, cart or food stand, and/or from the subject mobile food vehicle, cart or food stand to the property line of the school, day care center, church, or Groups II through IV restaurant.