Mobile Food Vendor

Subdivision III. – Mobile Food Vendors

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

Applicability – The City of Bonita Springs recognizes that this use is temporary and mobile in nature. These regulations are intended to define the locations and development standards for a site to be permitted for mobile food vendors. The standards established in these regulations are intended to allow mobile food vendors to operate while mitigating impacts to the site in which they operate and adjacent properties and right of ways. These regulations do not address mobile food carts, or mobile vendors that visit sites to temporarily vend for a period of minutes and not days or hours (i.e. ice cream trucks, construction or work site vendors). These vehicles are permitted by other agencies and cannot operate in the same manner as a mobile food vendor.

Permit Required – No mobile food vendor location is permitted without an approved permit. Such a permit only address the location. Food vendors are required to provide evidence of all applicable inspections and permits with the City and not permitted or registered through this ordinance.

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.

Failure to provide the required documentation can result in the delay or denial of permit issuance.

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 Chapter 500, Florida Statutes).

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 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 Park means a site approved through a Special Exception to allow for permanent location for three or more mobile food vehicles. Such sites must include required infrastructure and generally include public seating for all vehicles serving in the park.

No mobile food vendor shall be permitted to operate within the city unless a permit has been obtained for the proposed location upon which the vendor will operate.

The following eight (8) items are required, and must be submitted (in totality, as described) with the permit application. Please feel free to use the following permit submittal requirements as a check-off list when gathering required information prior to submittal.

Permit Submittal Requirements:

  1. Completed application.
  2. Signed authorization from the property owner or authorized representative.
  3. Proof of business insurance, issued by an insurance company that is licensed 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.
  4. Site Plan based on a valid survey, approved development order, or Master Concept Plan with dimensions and infrastructure identified, including the proposed location of the mobile food vendors. For large or phased projects, the plan submitted must provide enough detail to determine pedestrian and vehicular access to a public right of way.
  5. All sidewalks, driveways, rights of way, parking areas, outdoor seating areas, buildings with entry locations.
  6. A statement declaring if biodegradable packaging will be utilized, and if not, why.
  7. If required parking spaces are to be utilized, the times businesses use those spaces and the proposed time they would be used for mobile food vending.
  8. Notification will only be provided by courtesy mailing for property owners within 1,000’ and be the responsibility of the applicant. The mailing list and copy of notification will be provided to the City.

Non-Compliance with Permit

  1. If a permit holder is found to operating inconsistent with the standards of the permit, as documented by a violation notice or conviction from the Bonita Springs Hearing Examiner, the permit may be suspended or revoked by the City Council after hearing evidence of the violation in a public hearing. The burden to maintain the permit will be with the permit holder.
  1. Locations must not interfere with vehicular, multi-modal, pedestrian access and access ways.
  2. Cannot be located in a required parking space or driveway, unless it is specifically demonstrated the parking or driveway is not used during the time and/or days the mobile food vendor location is permitted.
  3. A mobile food vendor cannot install or create features, signs, or other identification not utilized while driving, that extend more than 3’ from the vending vehicle in any direction.
  4. Must be located on property or within a development with completed infrastructure improvements.
  5. All mobile food vendors shall be located in areas and in a manner that they do not create an adverse view or vista. More specifically, the food truck or anything associated with its operation shall block the view of signs or vehicular or multi-modal access ways.
  6. No more than two mobile food vendors can be requested on a single site. For purposes of this specific requirement, a site includes an entire commercial development even if that development consists of more than one parcel.
  7. A mobile food vehicle cannot be permitted within 250 feet of another permitted location, or mobile food vendor park. This separation requirement will not reduce or amend locational standards for particular overlay districts.
  8. Permitted sites will have the mobile food vendor removed at the end of permitted operating hours.
  9. Cannot be located on the site of an active, or abandoned gas station or convenience store.
  10. Alcohol shall not be sold or consumed from a mobile food vendor.
  11. Advertising signs may be permitted upon the mobile food vendor, but there will not be additional signage installed in any other location.
  12. Notification will only be provided by courtesy mailing for property owners within 1,000’ and be the responsibility of the applicant. The mailing list and copy of notification will be provided to the City. The request for approval will also be listed on the advertised City Council agenda.

Property Owner Responsibilities will include:

  1. Provision of sanitary facilities consistent with the standards of the Florida Building Code while considering aesthetics of the site; and
  2. The responsibility to ensure vendors meet all applicable federal, state, and local statues, regulations, laws, ordinances, rules and codes; and
  3. Acknowledgement that the regulations governing mobile food vendors hold the vendor and property owner responsible for violations of code.
  4. Ensure that the property (both the subject site, and other properties that may be directly impacted by mobile food vending) be kept in a continuously neat, clean, and orderly manner.
  1. Mobile food vending is prohibited on all parcels zoned for residential uses, except as authorized under this Code pursuant to the special event or temporary use permit. Notwithstanding, mobile food vending may also be authorized at clubhouse or other portion of a residential community separate from the residences with the authorization of the homeowners association.
  2. Mobile food vending is prohibited on Little Hickory Island, except as authorized under this Code pursuant to the special event or temporary use permit.
  3. Mobile food vending is prohibited within the Downtown District on the Future Land Use Map except as authorized under this Code pursuant to the special event or temporary use permit.

Applicability – This applies to any location that intends to provide permanent locations for mobile food vendors either through dedicated parking within an existing facility, or the creation of parking for such purpose. It is the permanent nature and not the number of mobile food vendors that distinguishes a mobile food vendor Park from temporary mobile food vendor locations.

General Standards

  1. Must provide stabilized surface for the parking of the intended number of mobile food vendors
  2. Central water and sewer must be provided for all mobile food vendors and the general public.
  3. A mobile food vendor park can only co-locate on a site with existing uses if the tenants of those legal uses sign a no objection form
  4. Any accessory structures, seating areas, pedestrian access must be specifically approved as part of the submitted plan.
  5. There shall be no more than one mobile food vending park within 250 feet of  another permitted park or mobile food vending location. This separation requirement will not reduce or amend locational standards for particular overlay districts.
  6. Parking will be provided at three spaces per mobile food vendor, plus 1 additional parking space per 15 seats.
  7. Restroom facilities will be required based on the standards of the Florida Building Code.
  8. Cannot be located on the site of an active, or abandoned gas station or convenience store.
  9. A food truck site will not be permitted on Little Hickory Island or within the Downtown District on the Future Land Use Map as provided by Section 4-2157.
  10. Neighborhood meetings are required consistent with Bonita Springs LDC 4-28.
  11. Public notice will include courtesy mailed notices for property owners within 2,000’ for both Zoning Board and City Council hearings.
  12. Mobile food vendors may have advertising on their vehicles, however, signage for a mobile food vending park must be consistent with the standards of Bonita Springs Land Development Code Chapter 6.

Permit Submittal Requirements

  1. Mobile Food Vendor Parks may only be approved through a Special Exception permit
  2. All required submittal requirements for a Special Exception, and
  3. For open air central seating areas, an analysis for off-site impacts.
  4. Analysis for off-site impacts of glare, dust, vibration, and odor on the adjacent and surrounding community.
  5. For applications with outdoor entertainment, analysis for off-site impacts for noise.

Mobile Food Vendors

  1. For Mobile Food vendors to locate at an approved location (both an approved site or approved mobile food vendor park), they must provide evidence that all required permits, inspections, licensure, or other approvals as needed by either county, state, or federal agencies prior to operating within the City.
  2. Documentation will be submitted to the City through copies or accepted electronic forms.
  3. Submittal of these documents will not produce a permit and other than maintain evidence of documents for public records, it will not produce a registry or registration.