Town of Lexington makes change to food truck rules to, “streamline the process”
Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) - The town of Lexington has made some modifications to its ordinance that governs the operations of food trucks within the town’s limits. This change is intended to streamline the process so that food trucks will have less paperwork to do before setting up for individual events in Lexington.
Food trucks have been a phenomenon that has evolved greatly over the last decade. Just a few years ago, many towns and cities had no guidelines for food trucks and in some places, were banned because they couldn’t meet the regulations to obtain a business license. Most municipalities have now changed or adapted their ordinances to accommodate food trucks. Now, neighborhoods are having them at block parties and individuals sometimes pay for food trucks to come to special events like birthdays, weddings, or Super Bowl parties.
Prior to Lexington’s most recent change, food truck operators had to apply for a special event permit every time they worked in Lexington. Lexington officials could check to ensure the food truck operator, basically a restaurant on wheels, had the appropriate business license to sell their goods in Lexington when these were applied for.
All businesses working inside the town are required to obtain a license. This includes brick and mortar restaurants, the carpenter that builds a deck, and the college kid paid to cut grass. Many don’t realize it but the owner of the Big Red Box DVD rental machines outside a dollar store has to have a business license too. This is not unique to Lexington and most municipalities across the state require business licenses.
Lexington's guidelines now state that all you must do to have a food truck at an event is to submit a onetime letter to the town. They do not have to apply for the Special Event Permit each time anymore, although they still have to get that business license. The food truck operator is responsible for any paperwork or permits from appropriate state agencies like DHEC or the SC Department of Revenue prior to operating at a special event. The operator most also file the necessary quarterly reports for Lexington’s Hospitality Tax and pay those just like any other business that sells prepared food or drinks inside the town.
For more information regarding these or any other town ordinances you can call the town of Lexington's Municipal Complex at (803) 359-4164. You can also stop by during normal business hours at 111 Maiden Lane in Lexington.