Chelan County Commissioners are looking into how to properly regulate food trucks. The trucks currently only get supervision from the health department, mostly over issue related to food.

County staffers have noticed a steady rise in the presence of food trucks, and there's thinking they'll continue to increase as part of the county's thriving tourism industry. 

Chelan County Interim Community Development Director Deanna Walter says food trucks that don't move should be looked at differently. 

"There's a couple of examples that we have where the food truck has been permanently set, or just hasn't moved in several years," said Walter.  "It is a restaurant. That is a restaurant. They're preparing and serving food on site. That is a restaurant." 

Staffers are looking to clarify which permit would provide proper oversight of stationary food trucks. 

Chelan County Fire Marshal Stephen Rinaldi thinks stationary trucks could eventually be required to have a conditional use permit or a building permit. 

During a presentation before commissioners, Rinaldi noted a fee for the permitting of food trucks in Chelan County was approved last year, but the process for putting the permits in place has not been completed.  

It's also not known how many food trucks are in the county, which Rinaldi said would need to be determined. 

In addition, he said there's a number of safety concerns with moving food trucks. 

Rinaldi said there have been serious and fatal mishaps involving them around the country. 

"Because these things are driven over the road, a lot of them use propane gas," said Rinaldi. "And because of that the fittings become loose. They've had some major catastrophic events, whether it's just a fire or actually explosions." 

Rinaldi is suggesting food trucks be required to go through regular inspections in the interest of public safety. 

County Commissioners could establish official requirements for food trucks in the coming months. 


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