Cody and Mobile Vendors – What Do New Ordinances Mean?
Written by Andrew-Rossi on January 10, 2021
The Cody City Council has adopted the new rules for any food trucks and other mobile vendors that plan to operate within the city limits in 2021.
As of the 1st of January, all mobile vendors in the city have received a copy of the ordinance. It is also available online on the City of Cody website.
The City defines “transient merchants” as people, firms, and corporations who do business by traveling around the city, selling “goods, wares, or merchandise” or occupying a building, structure, or car for the exhibition of the same.
Mobile Vending Units are defined as motorized vehicles, trailers, and temporary stands (carts, tents, tables, awnings, etc.) located outside a building.
Based on these definitions, the ordinances adopted by the city are as follows:
- The annual fee for mobile vendors is $70. Special Event fees may also apply ($100 for events with recurring or consecutive days less than a week, $200 for a week or longer.) Other permit fees may apply based on the location where vendors will be selling.
- Permits expire on Dec. 31 every year and all permits are issued on a calendar year basis, not a year from the issue date.
- Hours of Operation are 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. unless a vendor operates within 200 feet of a residential area – then its lights out at 9 p.m.
- Operating on public property in the city — like parks and ballfields — requires approval from the Cody City Council
- Restrictions to signage, advertising, and other aspects of mobile vendors may apply in certain areas.
Some might see such changes as local government overreach. Cindy Baker, Administrative Services Officer with the City of Cody, says the true intent is to give the city an idea of who’s doing business in town for the benefit of residents.
“Since the mobile vendors have become more prominent in the last few years, we felt we needed to get a handle on the situation. It’s not something new – it’s something more up-to-date with the varieties of situations we have with mobile vendors.”
Baker says the most important change to the ordinance is the permit process, which gives the city a record of each mobile vendor – who they are, what vehicles they have, where they are doing business. It will make any disputes with law enforcement or disgruntled customers much easier to handle.
Cody administrators made sure to seek informed opinions on how to draft the new ordinance before it was implemented.
“When we were changing this ordinance, we did involve some (mobile vendors) on a subcommittee as well as some brick-and-mortar businesses. So, we did get their input along the way. I have gone out and reached out through Facebook or the ones who registered last year and sent them the new applications. I really haven’t gotten anything negative,” said Baker.
It seems to have been successful – at least two vendors who operated in Cody last year have applied for and received their permits for 2021.
Baker says that permits can be acquired within 24 to 72 hours after applying. Mobile vendors need to make sure they bring all the relevant paperwork and have prior permission from the property owner where they plan to operate.
Luckily, the pop-up summer lemonade stand or yard sale will not require such a permit.
“I don’t think we’re going to go down that route,” Baker joked.