Ferndale Council OKs Food Truck Rally, Undecided on Street Vendor Regulations

Parking pilot program and Secreto liquor license approved and more at Monday night's meeting.

After an hour of discussion Monday night, the Ferndale City Council decided to wait a couple of more weeks before acting on the regulation of street and mobile vendors while approving the food truck rally as a monthly event.

Here are the highlights from Monday's council meeting:

Street vendor regulations debated

Members of City Council were rendered speechless at various points of Monday’s meeting during the final discussion of proposed restrictions to Ferndale’s street and mobile vendors.

The proposed a resolution regulating public vending spaces, in attempts to reduce the days and operation times of local street vendors, set fees for them and eliminate the option to use sandwich board signs.

DDA Director Cristina Sheppard-Decius explained the proposals as measures to secure downtown businesses, though various street vendors — and members of council — expressed that such changes could put street and mobile vendors out of business completely.

Council debated for more than one hour, suggesting slashing fees and increasing days to keep vendors in business, though no consensus could be reached.

Ultimately, Mayor David Coulter proposed that he and Councilman Dan Martin serve as a liaison committee of the council to work with the DDA and city administration over the next two weeks and come back with a recommendation.

Metro Detroit Street Eats gets green light

City Council approved the special event permit for Thursday’s food truck rally in the alley behind the from 4-9 p.m., also allowing it to be a monthly event.

Residential parking pilot program approved

Council also approved the for residents on West Saratoga and West Troy streets. The yearlong pilot will enforce two-hour parking limits for vehicles on those streets that do not have the designated parking stickers. An open meeting is scheduled for 6-7 p.m. Wednesday in the City Hall chambers for residents to learn more about the program and voice their concerns.

Secreto Bar & Bistro gets go-ahead

After beginning with a brief public hearing, council approved the liquor license and dance permit for the upcoming this summer at 315-319 W. Nine Mile Rd.

Some residents expressed concern about smoke coming out of pipes and into neighborhoods, especially for those nearby Secreto who have asthma. The issue of parking — specifically making sure that employees do not take up parking spaces of residents or potential customers — was also raised.

Councilwoman Melanie Piana commented, saying, “I think the sound ordinance adequately addresses any new businesses coming in, so I think the health, safety and welfare of the public and residents is going to be handled adequately as well.”

Ordinance regulates consumer fireworks

City Council also adopted an ordinance regulating the use of consumer fireworks by residents.

Consumer fireworks are defined as “fireworks devices that are designed to produce visible efforts by combustion, that are required to comply with the construction, chemical composition, and labeling regulations promulgated by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission under 16 CFR parts 1500 and 1507, and that are listed in APA standard 87-1, 3.1.2, 3.1.3, or 3.5.”

Consumer fireworks do not include low-impact fireworks, such as ground or handheld sparklers.

The new ordinance reflects state law requiring local governments to restrict consumer fireworks, explained City Attorney Daniel Christ, with the exception of igniting them the day before, day of or day after national holidays. It’s a public safety issue, he said.

Fire Chief Kevin Sullivan also spoke up on the matter at the meeting, saying one of the main reasons this has come to the attention of Legislature is thinking of where the fireworks end up.

“In close areas like a city, it’s most likely going to end up on your neighbor’s roof,” he said. “It’s definitely going to set things on fire, there’s no doubt about that.”

4 appointed to DDA board

Four volunteers were appointed to the DDA Board of Directors, with the proposal of Mayor Coulter and approval of the council:

  • Chris Best, term ending Dec. 31, 2015
  • Mindy Cupples, term ending Dec. 31, 2015
  • Ed Lane, partial, term ending Dec. 31, 2012
  • Jay McMillan, term ending Dec. 31, 2013

“I want to commend all four of these folks. The DDA is probably one of the busiest things you can volunteer for in this town. There is a lot of work that goes into keeping our downtown as great as it is,” Coulter said. “Thank you very much for your willingness to serve.”

G-Money May 02, 2012 at 04:31 PM
What did the city council expect? They should never had thought getting the DDA's recommendation on this would be anything but biased against the street vendors and food trucks. It is a complete conflict of interest. The DDA gets all of its money through increased property taxes in the downtown. If they add extra competition against any new or present businesses that pay those taxes, they would see a drop in their revenues. Besides that I'm sure all of the businesses are harping at the DDA to squash this thing in the bud. These recommendations that the DDA gave was just a polite way of saying "No thanks, we don't want any street vendors or food trucks." And I don't blame the DDA one bit. I'm sure they were just as speechless when the council asked them for their recommendation. And if anyone can remember, why did council want the DDA's recommendation?


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