Food trucks and a continued suspension of meetings for the City of East Lansing’s boards and commissions: we bring you a quick rundown of these things we’re keeping an eye on.
The City just canceled meetings for its boards and commissions – but not City Council – through Feb. 11.
Speaking to ELi over email on Thursday, the City’s Communications Coordinator Mikell Frey told ELi that the initial decision – and presumably the extension – were “based on current public health information from ICHD [the Ingham County Health Department].”
Neither the initial decision nor the extension was approved by Council, and Frey declined to answer our questions about who has been responsible for making these decisions.
City Council will still meet on Jan. 25 and Feb. 8, and agendas will be made available, as usual, in advance of those meetings at the City’s meeting portal page. When agendas for Council are posted, they include information about how to call in or participate via Zoom in terms of public comment.
Members of the public can watch Council meetings via the meetings portal page, via Zoom, and on East Lansing Community Television, also known as WELG or Channel 22.
The City is looking for your feedback on a proposed ordinance regarding food trucks.
According to a press release from the City dated Jan. 19, “The City of East Lansing is seeking feedback from residents and businesses on a proposed ordinance change and related policy resolution that would expand the locations and number of licensed food trucks (mobile food vending units) authorized to operate in the East Lansing community.”
Food trucks have long been a political hot potato downtown, as some brick-and-mortar restaurants don’t want any competition from food vendors that don’t have to pay all the property taxes and special fees to which they are subject. Others have wanted food trucks because of the feeling that they will provide more reasons for people to come downtown. (Read more in this ELi report.)
Currently, food trucks are restricted to specific locations in the downtown area and to neighborhood block parties, subject to approvals and regulations. The new ordinance, according to the press release, would expand the locations where food trucks could operate. A draft of the proposed ordinance is available here.
The City staff intends for the new ordinance “to establish a well-regulated and expanded mobile food vending program that will help to activate the streetscape and increase vibrancy in East Lansing, while also increasing economic opportunities and encouraging entrepreneurship,” according to the press release.
Residents, business owners, and business managers can complete the survey here before 5 p.m. on Feb. 5.