NPA councillor calls for food cart program review

Vancouver city councillor George Affleck plans to table a motion next week to change the city's food cart program to address restaurant owners' concerns. 

Vancouver city councillor George Affleck plans to table a motion next week to change the city's food cart program to address restaurant owners' concerns. 

Business in Vancouver broke the story on October 30 that 16 restaurant owners had signed a letter complaining to Mayor Gregor Robertson that the city's food cart program had caused them "significant revenue losses."

"Before Christmas I had about 12 guys in my office from Granville Street who were very concerned about their businesses and the impact that the food carts were having on them," Affleck told BIV January 8. "These are brick-and-mortar businesses that pay big taxes to the city and employ lots of people and generate lots of income for our city."

Affleck's motion asks staff to report back on concerns expressed by the restaurant sector and how the food vending program may need to be modified to ensure the long-term viability of the city's restaurant industry.

Restaurant owners such as Brooke Bestwick, who owns a PitaPit franchise on the Granville strip, told BIV in October that she wants the city to require that food vendors be 60 metres from any quick-service restaurant option.

Bestwick said she and neighbouring businesses pay as much as $9,000 each month in lease payments to operate on the busy strip. They then pay approximately $830 in fees for patio, business and garbage collection.

Food vendors, on the other hand, have only to pay for maintenance on their vehicle and a $1,179 annual city permit fee.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom

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