It was a full house during a regular meeting of Town Council on Tuesday evening as a public hearing was held in regards to the new Mobile Vending Bylaw.
The proposed Mobile Vending Business and Busking Bylaw #1701/2015 is a bylaw allowing the operation of mobile vending on specified public land in the Waterfront CommercialDistrict.
Following a pilot project last summer, the Town returned to the issue again this summer and is opting to make changes to the program for this season such as proposed seasonal,monthly, weekly, daily and food truck permits all being sold at different rates where as the pilot project only allowed weekly permits.
Price drops in rates are also being considered. The Town is also proposing new vending locations including Food Truck Plazas on 50a Ave. and 5039 50 St., an artist plaza onLakeshore Dr. and three mobile vending plazas on the corner of 50 St. and Lakeshore Dr., in Centennial Park and in the parking lot of Centennial park.
Regulations for busking have been removed the Business License Program and proposed changes for buskers include additional locations and changes with regards to the requirement to obtain a business license. Buskers will be allowed to perform in Artist Plaza and on the corner of Lakeshore Dr. and 50 St. with a proposed two hours maximum time allowance.
In attendance at the public hearing was Sylvan Lake resident Keri Pratt who commended the forward thinking nature of Council.
“Studies show that street vendors and artisans improve the quality of life,” said Pratt to Council. “It is an outlet for affordable business services, it brings the town to life, it keeps locals spending local, creates diversity, it keeps young people in town longer.”
Local mobile vending business owner, Dan Jensen, said he appreciated Council considering lower rates.
“I’m happy to see that was changed and I also think the locations have improved vastly,” said Jensen.
One person spoke against the proposed Mobile Vending Program. Steph Pritchard, a downtown business owner, said she was opposed to program as she feels it keeps people inCentennial Park.
“It keeps people in a selected area. They have washrooms, entertainment in the form or the park and beach, they have the food, they have everything they need,” said Pritchard. “So there’s no reason for them to walk down Lakeshore Drive or Centennial Street to find anything else.”
“Put them in an area where they have to walk past my business to get to them so at least I have a chance.”
The Bylaw was up for second reading last night but after much debate by Council it was tabled to the next meeting of Council.
For more information on the Mobile Vending Program visit www.sylvanlake.ca.