Some say they’re about America’s proud free enterprise system giving the American people what they want, especially during lunch or coffee breaks. Others say they take money away from already struggling restaurant owners who provide much of what the public wants and who have a lot more invested in the community.
Lincoln City Community Development Director Richard Townsend told the council that the “food cart/vendor” issue has been swirling in Portland lately, adding that it could emerge soon in Lincoln City and create no less of a controversy here.
While such food carts and vendors are convenient for the public, they are seen as “lunch hour poachers,” taking money from local restaurants, many of whom are just barely getting by as it is. One councilor mentioned that seven Lincoln City area restaurants have closed their doors recently.
Mayor Dick Anderson asked Townsend if there are any applicants on the horizon who want to launch food carts or vendors. Townsend said “No, but in this recession, people are looking for ways to make a buck and food carts and vendors appears to be a quick way to do that.” Mayor Anderson chimed in that they’re already allowed under city code. “If there appears to be a glut of them or some who are not obeying health rules or city codes, the council will deal with them at that time,” he said.