Food truck operators will now need a license to operate in Bay City.

Approved unanimously (9-0) by Bay City commissioners; The immediate changes to the city’s ordinance on peddlers and solicitors means food truck operators would need to meet criteria laid out by the city to obtain a license.

Some of these criteria include having appropriate insurance coverage, submission of an application detailing food preparation methods and intended menu, proposed hours of operation, utility usage and access, information on the food truck including its dimensions, and copies of all other permits required by the Bay County Health Department.

Applicants can be approved per-event, or for a full-year permit.

With all of the information required to get a license from the clerk, Commission president Jessie Dockett says it should actually make special events easier for organizers to prepare.

The licensing process allows the city to make sure that someone is paying their fair share if they come from out of town, and to make sure business is fair for all vendors in the area by preventing them from setting up in an area that would restrict business to local stores or other approved food trucks.

It also serves as a way to help ensure the safety of vendors, city property owners, and utility crews after cases of vendors breaking into utility access boxes

City Manager Dana Muscott says the licensing shouldn’t affect prominent summer event participant numbers because most of those who participate often operate in the city year-round.

Some people attending this week’s virtual commission session voiced during public input that they believe the approved changes address the issue better than earlier drafts of the ordinance, but say the issues aren’t as widely populated in the Bay city area and the changes are trying to fix a problem the city does not have.

Vendors will also be required to submit site drawings to be approved by the city manager with their applications, and trucks will not be allowed to be parked within 150ft of existing brick-and-mortar restaurants during business hours without written approval from the owners.