Draft of Proposed Ordinance for Food Trucks

19 Sep Draft of Proposed Ordinance for Food Trucks

Over the course of the past council meetings, City Council and citizens have discussed ways to encourage food trucks when the current ordinance in fact discourage this entrepreneurial venture.  The following is a working draft of what will be discussed at our work session Tuesday night.

Please let us know if you have any thoughts.


City of Beaufort
Food Vendor Program Ordinance September 2016

The Purpose of this program is to provide standards for mobile food vendors while balancing the interests of public health, safety, and overall community well-being.


  1. (A)  Unless otherwise exempted, every vendor or food truck vendor, before commencing business within the City of Beaufort, shall make application in writing and under oath to the Business License Department.
  2. (B)  It shall be unlawful for any vendor to engage in business within the City of Beaufort except when licensed as a stationary or mobile vendor or food truck vendor.
  3. (C)  A separate license shall be required for each vendor and for each vehicle or other conveyance engaged by a mobile vendor or food truck vendor.


All vendors licensed under this section shall conform to the following standards:

  1. (A)  A vendor must be 18 years or older.
  2. (B)  No vendor shall be licensed for a location in a Residential Zoned Districts (T3 and T4-HN - new code) R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, and GR Districts (current 2016 code).
  3. (C)  No, vehicle, other conveyance or temporary stand shall be a minimum of 200 feet separation from any residential use or residential zoning district. The distance shall be measured as the shortest distance between the nearest point of the vending facility to the closest residential property line or district. The limitation shall not apply to or within the boundaries of the City of Beaufort permitted community event.
  4. (D)  No vehicle, other conveyance or temporary stand shall be located closer than 10 feet from any building or structure on the licensed property or adjoining property.
  5. (E)  No vehicle, other conveyance or temporary stand shall locate closer than 50 feet from flammable combustible liquid or gas storage and dispensing structures.
  6. (F)  No vehicle, other conveyance or temporary stand shall locate closer than 200 feet of a City of Beaufort permitted community event without the written permission of the event organizers.
  1. (G)  No vendor shall locate his or her vehicle, other conveyance, or temporary stand within 20 feet of any public right-of-way or within 20 feet of the intersection of any public right-of- way and private driveway.
  2. (H)  No signs or signage shall be permitted other than that which can be contained on the vehicle, conveyance or temporary stand utilized to sell food or merchandise.
  3. (I)  No vendor shall utilize music or other noise in the sale of goods or services, which music or noise may be considered to be unreasonably load, harsh or excessive and in violation of City Ordinance.
  4. (J)  No vendor shall obstruct or cause to be obstructed the passage of any sidewalk, street, avenue, alley or any other public place, by causing people to congregate at or near the place where vending items are being sold or offered for sale.
  5. (K)  All lighting must be permanently or semi-permanently affixed to the vending facility. No lighting shall be permitted to shine on or into any public right-of-way or other private property, or cause any glare that could be considered a public hazard, nuisance or distraction to vehicular movement, neighboring business operations, or residential uses. No flashing or strobe lighting shall be permitted.
  6. (L)  All vendors shall place at least one 30-gallon garbage receptacle upon site of business for customer use.
  7. (M)  All merchandise, goods, wares or food shall only be displayed or offered for sale from the vendor’s vehicle, other conveyance or temporary stand.
  8. (N)  All vehicles, other conveyance or temporary stands shall be equipped with at least one 2A 40 BC fire extinguisher. If cooking operations produces grease-laden vapors, a Type I Hood System with Fire Suppression must be installed. This system must be inspected annually by a SC licensed company.
  9. (O)  At the conclusion of business activities, the vendor shall clean all debris, trash and litter generated by the vendor’s business activities.
  10. (P)  No portion of a vendor’s inventory, sales equipment, or any other structure or equipment used in the sales or solicitation process shall be left overnight upon any unenclosed portion of any lot or site within the City of Beaufort.


All vendors or food truck vendors selling food and/or drinks which are not prepackaged shall obtain all necessary County and State Health permits before a license will be issued and shall comply with all laws, rules and regulations regarding food handling, and all vehicles used for the sale of food shall comply with all the laws, rules and regulations respecting such vehicles as established by the State of South Carolina.


The Business License staff will review applications for completion and no application will be accepted unless deemed complete. All procedures for obtaining a business license will be followed for applications and enforcement of vending permits.


  1. (A)  All vendors must submit the appropriate food vendor program fee as outlined below.
  2. (B)  The full annual program fee is due upon acceptance into the City of Beaufort Food Vendor Program. If a vendor chooses to withdraw from the program, the annual fee is forfeited.
  3. (C)  The business license fee is a separate fee and cannot be refunded.


  1. (A)  Allowable vehicles include enclosed trucks and trailers for parking spaces in which service is provided to customers through the side of the vehicle at the sidewalk only. Canteen trucks that require or encourage standing in the street or behind the vehicle are not allowed.
  2. (B)  Trucks or trailers must be sized to fit into the parking spaces.
  3. (C)  Vending at designated public food truck zones will be allowed at the times listed below. No vending operations shall take place outside the hours noted.
    •   500 Carteret Street and Bladen Parking area locations daily, 8am to 3pm only
    •   No vending is allowed on Bay Street, West Street, and Scott Street or in the “Point”area of the City or is on Private property unless approved by City Council.
    •   All other food trucks zones as approved by Planning and Zoning regulations:
  4. (D)  Vending Private Property – A written agreement from the property owner/manager with regard to the time(s) and location of the use for the premises must be provided with the application.
  5. (E)  All sales must be made directly from the licensed unit.
  6. (F)  If any area is closed for an emergency or other permitted activity, no vendors will be allowed to set up. Areas will be monitored for compliance and any violations could result


8:00am – 12:00am


8:00am – 12:00am


8:00am – 12:00am


8:00am – 2:00am


in a permit being suspended or revoked. The Division of Parking will notify participants in the program and any planned special event that would close the area.

  1. (G)  The entire operation must be fully mobile. For trucks/trailers, coolers may not be placed on the ground, nor any tables and chairs provided for customers. Generators must be attached to the mobile unit and should be whisper or quiet generators are required that produce no more than 75 decibels (dB). No extension cords shall be used to supply vendor with power from any other electrical source on site.
  2. (H)  Fees are subject to change with City Manager approval.
  3. (I)  Prohibited items:
    •   Radio or sound-amplifying devices;
    •   Flashing signs or signs that move or give the appearance of moving
    •   Sign, menu board, tables, chairs, waste receptacle or other objects in the roadway,or sidewalk;
    •   The sales of merchandise or any other article other than food;
    •   Water, sewer, gas or electrical connections to a building;
    •   Participants must ensure that no pollutants, including waste/grease, liquid wastes,gray water garbage/debris, and other materials are discharged to the City’s storm drain system (including gutters, curbs, and storm drain).
  4. (J)  A waste receptacle shall be provided for the use of customers. Trash must be removed from the site by the vendor. Use of City waste receptacles is prohibited. Participants are required to pick up, remove and dispose of all garbage, refuse or litter consisting of foodstuffs, wrappers, and/or materials dispensed from the vending vehicle and any residue deposited on the street from the operation thereof, and otherwise maintain in a clean and debris-free condition the entire area within a 25-foot radius of the location where mobile food vending is occurring.
  5. (K)  The vendor shall secure and maintain a policy of automobile liability insurance coverage issued by a company authorized to do business in the State of South Carolina in the amount of at least $1,000,000 for injury to or death of any person or persons in any one incident and $1,00,000 for property damage, and the policy shall list the City of Beaufort as an additional insured.


The participant may be removed from the Program at the discretion of the City Manager in the event that:

  •   The use of conditions under which the truck, trailer, is being operated or maintained is detrimental to the public health, welfare or materially injurious to property or improvements in the vicinity;
  •   The property is operated or maintained so as to constitute a nuisance;
  •   The use is operated in violation of the conditions of the program; or
  •   Any other violation of applicable law.


 And will be subject to a fine of $100.00 and loss of permit. RENEWAL PROCESS

Vendor license expire on December 31st of each year with annual renewals subject to administrative review, modification (if necessary) and approval.


2017 Fees

Food Trucks/Trailers

Annual Food Vendor Program Fee and Annual Fire Inspection Fee (per vehicle)



The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this division, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Mobile food vendor: means any person selling food from a mobile unit.

Mobile food unit: means a self-contained, vehicle-mounted food service unit that returns daily to its base operations as approved by DHEC and is used for either the preparation or the sales of food products, or both. This does not include mopeds.

Food trailer: means enclosed attached or detached trailer that is equipped with facilities for preparing, cooking and selling various types of food products.

Food truck: means an enclosed motor vehicle equipped with facilities for preparing, cooking and selling various types of food products.

Ice cream truck: means motor vehicle containing a freezer and from which a vendor sells frozen prepackaged food products such as ice cream, frozen yogurt, frozen custard, flavored frozen water, etc.

Mobile food pushcart: means any portable vending device, pushcart or other wheeled vehicle or device which may be moved without the assistance of a motor and which is not required to be licensed and registered by the department of motor vehicles, used for displaying, storing or transporting of articles offered for sale by a vendor, and which does not exceed four feet in width, six feet in length, and five feet in height, excluding canopy or cover.

Prepackage food truck: means an enclosed motor vehicle equipped to sell various types of prepackage food products.

Snow cone/ice truck: means motor vehicle containing a freezer and from which a vendor sells prepared frozen foods such as flavored ice, etc.



I understand and will abide by these Policies and Procedures for Food Vendor Program. I further understand that should I commit any violation of this policy, my participation in this program may be revoked.