All it took was a pilot project over the summer to convince Penticton city council that mobile retail vending trucks were probably a good idea.
Council voted unanimously Tuesday to amend the mobile food vending license program to allow for a maximum of three trucks doing retail sales rather than food.
Tracey Lloyd and her Chic Mobile Boutique were the only participants in the pilot program, which was approved by council this spring. Lloyd was originally turned down for a mobile vending licence in 2016.
“Unfortunately we only had one as part of this pilot program, but we certainly saw that as successful,” said Anthony Haddad, director of development services.
Under the new rules, three locations will be made available for mobile retail: Power Street, next to Gyro Park and Skaha Lake, with only one truck at a time in each location.
According to Haddad, one letter of concern was received from an existing retail business in the 100 block of Main Street, with concerns in line with those of the Downtown Penticton Association, specific to the impact on existing retailers in the downtown core, concerns that some of the councillors shared before approving the pilot program.
“That was the only concern that came through the process,” said Haddad. “Staff did not receive any complaints throughout the season from any members of the public with regards to the mobile retail vendor.”
Haddad said the DPA is now supportive of the Gyro Park location, now that it has been limited to a single vendor. Certainly, the concerns that we heard early on in the process didn’t come down through the pilot program.
Limiting the program to one truck at a time will help offset any potential conflicts with existing permanent businesses. They also plan to use a “locals first” approach when deciding which applicants to approve.