Township of Robbinsville, NJ
Mercer County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Robbinsville 8-2-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-29. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the protection and maintenance of the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Township through the regulation and licensing of mobile food vendors (aka "food trucks").
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to mobile food vendors engaged in the business of cooking, preparing, and/or distributing food or beverage from temporary, but stationary, locations within the Township of Robbinsville.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MOBILE FOOD VENDOR
Any automobile, truck, or other motor-powered vehicle, owned and operated, or contracted with an approved, licensed retail food establishment that is in good standing with the health authority in which the establishment is located, that offers or provides cooked or prepared food to individuals from a temporary, but stationary, location. This definition shall not include vehicles that offer or provide ice cream, ice cream products, or water ice or similar products, which shall be subject to the requirements of Chapter 182, Peddling and Soliciting.
MOBILE FOOD VENDOR ID
Any ID issued under this chapter to an operator or employee of a mobile food vendor.
MOBILE FOOD VENDOR LICENSE
Any license issued under this chapter to a mobile food vendor.
A. 
No mobile food vendor or other vehicle engaged in the business of offering or providing cooked or prepared foods in the Township shall operate within the Township without first having obtained a mobile food vendor license to do so, unless same is participating in a special event as defined by Chapter 70. Such license shall be issued by the Municipal Clerk on a calendar-year basis as of January 1 of each year and expire on December 31 of the year in which issued unless sooner revoked by the Council. Such license shall only remain valid when accompanied by a valid Type 1 fire permit required pursuant to § 158-14L. It is the sole responsibility of the mobile food vendor to renew its Type 1 fire permit in accordance with § 158-14L.
B. 
Each vehicle operating as a mobile food vendor shall be required to have a mobile food vendor license and such licenses are not transferable.
C. 
The mobile food vendor license shall be prominently displayed in or on the vehicle operating as a mobile food vendor in a conspicuous place fully visible to the public at all times while engaging in business within the Township.
D. 
Mobile food vendors shall be required to submit to and pass inspections by both the Health Department and Fire Department, as well as criminal background checks by the Police Department for any owner(s) the mobile food vendor, prior to being issued a mobile food vendor license.
E. 
Each person and/or individual operating or employed by a mobile food vendor shall not be permitted to operate a mobile food vendor without first having passed a criminal background check and having been issued a mobile food vendor ID by the Municipal Clerk.
F. 
The mobile food vendor license shall be under the charge and control of the applicant applying therefor, and the applicant shall be responsible for the operation of the vehicle so licensed to the applicant.
The licensing provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any mobile food vendor possessing a valid license issued by the County Clerk pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:24-9 et seq., or any successor statute.
All applications for the issuance or renewal of a mobile food vendor license shall be made to the Municipal Clerk on forms adopted by the Township and designed to elicit information regarding the vehicle to be so used as a mobile food vendor as well as the identification, responsibility and law-abiding habits of the owner(s) of the vehicle. In the case of a renewal, a renewal application shall be submitted at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the existing license and, in the sole discretion of the Chief of Police, the requirement for a criminal background check may be waived.
Each applicant for a mobile food vendor license shall supply the information requested on the application in full and verify its correctness by his or her oath or affirmation and thereafter file the completed application with the Municipal Clerk, together with the full amount of the fee as hereinafter set forth. Additionally, the applicant shall provide proof of liability insurance to the Municipal Clerk covering the vehicle to be licensed for the term of the license applied for.
The annual fee for a mobile food vendor application and license shall be as provided in Chapter 109, Fees, and shall be for each year or portion thereof and shall include any fee that may otherwise be established and required by the provisions of this chapter and Code. This fee shall not include any fee for fingerprinting or required fire or health permits.
A. 
The Municipal Clerk shall forward the application to the following departments. These entities shall conduct such investigation as they deem necessary to protect safety, health and welfare of the residents of the Township.
(1) 
Police Department;
(2) 
Fire Department; and
(3) 
Health Department.
B. 
To facilitate criminal background checks, an applicant shall be subject to fingerprinting pursuant to the instruction of the Police Department and shall execute an appropriate consent form.
C. 
The results of the criminal background checks shall not be considered public information and shall be released only to the Township Council, Mayor, Business Administrator, Chief of Police or Township Attorney. The costs of criminal background check and fingerprinting shall be borne by the applicant and shall be separate and apart from the license fee in § 158-8.
A. 
If, as a result of such investigation, the applicant's character and business integrity are found to be satisfactory, and do not create a safety hazard, the Chief of Police shall certify same to the Municipal Clerk. If, as a result of such investigation, the Chief of Fire and/or Fire Official shall determine that the activity does not pose a fire safety issue of any nature, he or shall so certify to the Municipal Clerk. If, as a result of such investigation, the Health Officer shall determine that the activity does not pose a health or safety issue of any nature, he or she shall so certify to the Municipal Clerk. The Municipal Clerk, upon receipt of all such written certifications, shall then issue a license. The Municipal Clerk shall keep a full record of all licenses issued.
B. 
If an application is found unsatisfactory by the Chief of Police, Chief of Fire, Fire Official, and/or Health Officer, the Municipal Clerk shall notify the applicant that the application is denied. An applicant for a license hereunder shall have the right to appeal to the governing body from the denial of a license. Such appeal shall be filed within three days after the receipt of the notice of denial. Such appeal shall be taken by filing a written notice of appeal addressed to the governing body. The governing body shall act upon the appeal as soon as practicable after receiving the notice thereof and shall give the applicant reasonable opportunity to be heard before taking action. The governing body may affirm, reverse or modify the license.
A. 
In addition to any other provisions of law, a mobile food vendor license issued pursuant to this chapter may be revoked by the Municipal Clerk upon the recommendation of the Chief of Police, Chief of Fire, Fire Official, and/or the Health Officer for any of the following causes:
(1) 
Any fraud, misrepresentation of false statements contained in the application for license;
(2) 
Any fraud, misrepresentation or false statements made in connection with the operation of the business of mobile food vendor;
(3) 
Any violation of this chapter;
(4) 
Conviction of the licensee of any felony or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude;
(5) 
Failure of any fire inspection conducted by the Chief of Fire, Fire Official or his or her designee pursuant to § 158-14;
(6) 
Failure of any health inspection conducted by the Health Officer pursuant to § 158-14; or
(7) 
Conducting the business licensed under this chapter in an unlawful manner or in such a manner as to constitute a menace to the health, safety or general welfare of the public.
B. 
An appeal from any such revocation may be made to the governing body by filing a notice of appeal with the Municipal Clerk within 10 days of the date of the revocation. The governing body shall hear such appeal and render its decision within 45 days.
A. 
Each person and/or individual operating or employed by a mobile food vendor shall not be permitted to operate a mobile food vendor without first having passed a criminal background check and having been issued a mobile food vendor ID by the Municipal Clerk. To facilitate criminal background checks, an applicant shall be subject to fingerprinting pursuant to the instruction of the Police Department and shall execute an appropriate consent form. The results of the criminal background check shall not be considered public information and shall be released only to the Township Council, Mayor, Business Administrator, Chief of Police or Township Attorney. The costs of criminal background check and fingerprinting shall be borne by the applicant and shall be separate and apart from the ID fee in this section.
B. 
Each applicant for a mobile food vendor ID shall apply for such ID with the Municipal Clerk on forms adopted by the Township designed to elicit information regarding the person or individual applying for same. In the case of a renewal, a renewal application shall be submitted at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the existing ID and, in the sole discretion of the Chief of Police, the requirement for a criminal background check may be waived.
C. 
Each applicant for a mobile food vendor ID shall supply the information requested on the application in full and verify its correctness by his or her oath or affirmation and thereafter file the completed application with the Municipal Clerk, together with the full amount of the fee as provided in Chapter 109, Fees.
D. 
The Municipal Clerk shall issue a mobile food vendor ID upon receipt of the certification of the Chief of Police that the applicant's character is found to be satisfactory based upon the criminal background check. If an application is denied the applicant shall have the right to appeal to the governing body from the denial of the ID. Such appeal shall be filed within three days after the receipt of the notice of denial. Such appeal shall be taken by filing a written notice of appeal addressed to the governing body. The governing body shall act upon the appeal as soon as practicable after receiving the notice thereof and shall give the applicant reasonable opportunity to be heard before taking action. The governing body may affirm, reverse or modify the ID.
E. 
A mobile food vendor ID shall remain valid for one year from the date of issuance unless earlier revoked for any cause listed in § 158-11.
F. 
A mobile food vendor ID shall be issued, exempt from the mobile food vendor ID fee, to the owner(s) of a mobile food vendor who otherwise satisfies the requirements of and is issued a mobile food vendor license.
A. 
Mobile food vendors shall not occupy any public street, public right-of-way, and/or sidewalk.
B. 
Mobile food vendors shall, unless otherwise permitted in accordance with Subsection D below, only occupy private commercial properties with the express written permission of the property owner and shall only operate during the regular business hours of the commercial property. In no event shall a mobile food vendor remain parked on the same commercial property for more than 12 hours on any given day. No more than five mobile food vendors shall be permitted on any single property at any given time, unless the property owner has applied for and received a food vendor festival permit pursuant to Chapter 70.
C. 
Mobile food vendors shall only occupy private commercial properties of not less than 10 acres located in zones wherein mobile food vendors are a permitted temporary use, unless otherwise exempted by law.
D. 
Residents and not-for-profit organizations may request the presence of mobile food vendors on their private property for special occasions. Such a request shall be made to the Business Administrator or his or her designee at least 30 days prior to the date of the special occasion, who shall make a determination in his or her own discretion. Such determination shall include the number of mobile food vendors permitted and the hours of operation for same. A request made under this subsection shall be exempt from any zoning requirement.
E. 
Property owners, residents, and/or not-for-profit organizations giving permission to or requesting the presence of mobile food vendors shall be responsible for assuring that the mobile food vendor is parked legally on private property.
F. 
Nothing in this chapter shall limit the Township or any of its entities from hiring mobile food vendors for special events.
A. 
Mobile food vendors shall be responsible for assuring that any and all premises used by the vehicle shall be left in a clean and orderly state and that no waste or garbage from its operation be deposited or left remaining on any property or street located within the Township. Collected trash and debris shall not be deposited into public trash receptacles.
B. 
Mobile food vendors shall abide by all existing traffic and parking regulations.
C. 
No mobile food vendor shall serve food or beverages to a motorist or others while occupying a vehicle.
D. 
No mobile food vendor shall provide in-truck dining services.
E. 
Mobile food vendor vehicles shall be used solely for the commercial use of food and beverage service.
F. 
All items related to the operation of a mobile food vendor, including but not limited to grills and generators, shall be physically attached to the mobile food vendor vehicle.
G. 
Mobile food vendors shall have a portable water tank/sink for hand washing, as required pursuant to N.J.A.C. 8:24-5.3, integrated within the body of the mobile food vendor vehicle.
H. 
Mobile food vendors shall have a sewage holding tank, as required pursuant to N.J.A.C. 8:24-5.4, integrated within the body of the mobile food vendor vehicle.
I. 
Mobile food vendors shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 270, to the extent such provisions do not conflict with the provisions of this chapter. In cases where a conflict does exist, the provisions of this chapter shall control.
J. 
Mobile food vendors shall arrange for the availability of restroom facilities for persons handling food for said vendor when such vendor is operating at a stationary location for one or more hours. This requirement may be satisfied by the provision of portable restroom facilities or the use of on-site restroom facilities with the written permission of the commercial property owner.
K. 
Mobile food vendors shall be prohibited from discharging liquid waste, oil or grease onto the surface of the ground or from making any unapproved discharges of same into the sanitary sewer or individual subsurface sewage system located at the site.
L. 
Mobile food vendors shall be subject to the provisions of § 2-47.1, to the extent such provisions do not conflict with the provisions of this chapter. In cases where a conflict does exist, the provisions of this chapter shall control. The Chief of Fire, Fire Official or his or her designee shall prepare a checklist, which shall be publicly available, for the issuance of a Type 1 fire permit in accordance with the New Jersey State Fire Code specifically detailing the requirements needed and standards which must be complied with for approval and subsequent inspection. The Type 1 permit shall be valid during the following periods: (1) if issued between January 1 and June 30, the permit is valid until June 30; (2) if issued between July 1 and December 31, the permit is valid until December 31. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as limiting the authority of the Chief of Fire or Fire Official to supplement the requirements of the checklist in a particular case in the interest of public safety. Nothing in this chapter shall limit the authority of the Chief of Fire or Fire Official, at their discretion, from conducting an inspection of a mobile food vendor.
M. 
The distribution of alcohol by a mobile food vendor is strictly prohibited unless the mobile food vendor is operating under a mobile food vendor festival permit issued pursuant to Chapter 70 and in accordance with all other applicable laws and regulations.
The Chief of Police, Chief of Fire, Fire Official, and/or Health Officer shall report to the Municipal Clerk any complaints against any person licensed under the provisions of this chapter. The Municipal Clerk shall keep a record of all such licenses and of such complaints and violations.
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable to the penalty stated in Chapter 1, Article II, General Penalty.