Vancouver City Hall live blog: the future of food trucks

Liveblogging City Hall: Street vending by-law, voting transparency, and youth issues. Also, hot debate on a development at Seymour and Helmcken. Follow the live blog to see how talks go down. Join us for the good, the bad, and the weird.

Vancouver food cart: New street-vending bylaw will affect how curbside business gets done.

The future of Vancouver food carts

Three bucks for a burger after tax. With a price like that, who needs branding?

Nobody knows what this food cart is called; we only know it as "$2.85 Hamburgers". This business' future, as well as how food carts and trucks operate in Vancouver, is under discussion in City Council today.

This is a live blog from City Hall on February 19, 2014; where the Planning, Transportation and Environment Standing Committee is meeting to revisit street vendor by-laws.

Some background:

Also on today's agenda:

Among the key points of the proposed street vending by-law:

  • Food truck permits will be illegal to resell. (At the moment, the permit itself is the most lucrative part of the whole food-truck proposition: it can be resold for up to ten times its original value, or rented out to those willing to actually put in the hard work required to make a food truck succeed.)
  • No food truck can set up shop within 100 meters of a restaurant serving similar cuisine.
  • Extended patio hours for summer 2014. Perhaps a jab in the eye to No-Fun City.

The meeting kicks off at 9:30am. The most recent updates will appear at the top, so refresh this page often to read the latest updates. Also, keep an eye on the Vancouver Observer’s Twitter feed.

City Hall Liveblog

3:29pm Vote. The motion is referred to City Staff. The meeting is adjourned.

3:25pm Stevenson slips in one more (condescending) dig at Carr. Reimer stops him. "There's no lack of access to Council decisions," notes Reimer. The issue of open standards are ones of financial cost, legal obligations, she says.

3:23pm Jang describes it as a "well-meaning motion" but "a little more homework needs to be done" before bringing something like this to Council. (Is it not clear, though, that /some/ degree of difficulty would be involved in this?)

3:22pm (Would not an open-data presentation of past Council behaviour have made the previous item a lot quicker to deal with?)

3:20pm City Manager Penny Ballem: Making this sort of info easier to get hold of is part of the City website's revamping process. "It is a huge amount of work. It's available through Council reports, but it's a little bit awkward. This is not the highest priority we have in serving our public." Stevenson calls it a "pie in the sky" motion. (They don't speak very nicely to Carr, do they?)

3:14pm Improving Transparency and Public Access to Council Voting Records. No speakers.

Carr: "It would make much easier." Easier public access to data.

Reimer: "It wasn't about open data, since the data is open right now... what it doesn't have is an open standard." Toronto staff found this to be very expensive. Recommends this get referred to staff: what would they need to replace the current vote-tracking method with an open-standard tracking system. "It's important enough that it should be done well and comprehensively."

Stevenson "worried about adding this kind of undertaking" to city staff's inbox. He doesn't see "public demand" for this, but sees how it would be helpful. (Jeez, I wish I could yell stuff out during these meetings, but alas.)

3:11pm Jang, Deal, Tang vote for; Ball and Carr vote against. The motion passes.

3:09pm Ball: "It's clear there's a great deal of confusion here. ... I still find myself enormously confused, and I see the public is confused." the motion to refer fails. Carr: "I will not be voting for the main motion."

3:04pm Carr: "I do not remember individuals approaching us at 508 Helmcken being told they could speak on density." She feels unable to vote on this package without watching the video of the 508 Helmcken hearing to make sure everything went as the PD Services team said. Carr wants to refer this item until the next PT&E committee meeting.

Jang: "It's called homework". Doesn't support referring the item.

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