Oakland considers food truck guidelines

The Town Commission met in a work session Tuesday night to discuss regulations for the popular quick-meal destinations.

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Oakland town commissioners held a work session Tuesday, Jan. 26, to discuss guidelines for food trucks setting up in the town limits. There was no vote; this issue will go before commissioners for a formal discussion and vote at a future commission meeting.

Code Enforcement Officer Matt Reusch gave a presentation outlining options and possible solutions for mobile food vendor permitting in the town.

Oakland currently has no municipal ordinances that cover food truck vendors. The town has been receiving calls from vendors seeking to operate in the town. Several have set up in various locations in Oakland, both on a regular basis in areas such as the Chevron station, as well as for food truck events in several neighborhoods.

Reusch noted other municipalities require a state business license, food safety permits, town or city business tax receipt and an insurance policy. Qualifications would include frequency and hours of operation, distance from rights-of-way and residential areas, and set-up location.

Reusch recommended to the commission that rules be put in place that vendors would follow permitting requirements, provide documentation and sign an agreement with the town.

Commissioner Sal Ramos said he was in favor of requiring vendors to file for operation, whether or not the town charged a fee.

“Do we want to say they can operate in commercial or industrial areas, and if they want to operate in residential, it has to go through the proper channels as a one-time event,” Town Manager Steve Koontz asked. “It’s very easy if you want to do it in the commercial or industrial area; and there’s an extra step if you want to hold it in residential.”

Commissioner Joseph McMullen questioned whether the town wanted to have different regulations once restaurants begin operating in Oakland.

Commissioner Rick Polland asked if all vendors would operate with takeout menus or be allowed to set up a dozen tables and chairs.

“The first step was establishing the framework and then look at the details,” Reusch told commissioners.

The commission will talk further about a plan and then bring it to the table for a vote.



Police Chief John Peek swore in a new part-time detective, Shawn Dozier, during the regular Town Commission meeting. Dozier previously held a high-ranking detective position with the New York Police Department and moved to Central Florida after 26 years of service.

“I can’t express enough what an awesome catch this is … someone of his talent and caliber coming to Oakland,” Peek said to commissioners. “We are glad to have him here protecting our town. … In the short time he’s been here he’s already made an impression.”

Dozier’s son, Shawn Jr., performed the pinning.



• The Town Commission approved the second reading of an ordinance that changes dark-sky lighting requirements in the Town Code. Public lighting must emit minimal light pollution and glare into the sky. Per the ordinance, light sources that can be repaired or replaced, such as burned-out bulbs, are allowed to remain “non-dark sky” until such time as the fixture itself breaks or must otherwise be replaced.

Mayor Kathy Stark said she wanted to stop rumors that have been circulating regarding 5G. The dark-sky lights already in use in the town do not give off 5G, a fifth-generation radiofrequency radiation, she said.

• Commissioner Sal Ramos was appointed to the MetroPlan Orlando Municipal Advisory Committee, and Commissioner Joseph McMullen will serve as the alternate.

“People think that we just show up two days a month for an hour and a half to see how quickly we can get these meetings done,” Stark said. “And that is just not the case. … (Everyone accepts) another committee job of some kind. I appreciate the hard work that everybody does.”

• The commission approved the second reading and public hearing of a special-exception request to build an accessory dwelling unit on a home under construction at 304 N. Tubb St.

• Public Works Director Mike Parker announced the pickleball and tennis courts will be completed and ready for play in a few weeks.

• The town held a soft opening of its Healthy West Orange Arts and Heritage Center at Oakland Friday, Jan. 29. One-on-one walk-throughs were held during the week to minimize crowds.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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