Muzzling the ice cream truck?
May 24, 2012 / 5:00 pm
The District of West Kelowna says it's not breaking new ground in striking a policy that would eliminate music from mobile vending operators such as ice cream trucks.
Council voted to adopt the Mobile Vending Policy earlier this week which sets guidelines for fixed and mobile vending operations throughout the municipality.
The policy includes a clause that states, "no form of music or voice amplification system shall be allowed for a Mobile Vending Unit."
"This is standard policy in most municipalities in the province," says West Kelowna Communications Supervisor, Kirsten Jones.
"It's based on best practicers. We're not reinventing the wheel."
As with other policies, Jones says this is a non-ticketed infraction that would strictly be complain driven.
"I'm just beside myself," says Kathy Erickson, owner of Scooter's Ice Cream.
Erickson operates six mobile ice cream trucks for festivals and street sales, from Osoyoos to Salmon Arm.
"I'm a single mom trying to run a business and they're taking food off my children's plates. I might as well just stay home or drive a plumbing truck. Without music, what do I have?"
In making her presentation to council, Director of Development Services, Nancy Henderson, says the municipality has received some complaints from the public, but added none of those complaints dealt specifically with ice cream trucks.
Erickson says she's never had any complaints.
While Erickson says the lack of music will hurt her business, Mayor Doug Findlater says he's seen many ice cream vendors do good business parked in a residential neighbourhood or a commercial area.
"Personally I didn't support that part of the policy that banned music," says Councillor Gord Milsom.
"It did catch me by surprise. For decades we've been used to hearing that music."
A motion to amend that portion of the policy was defeated by council.
Milsom says the music policy can be re-visited while Findlater says if Erickson or any other vendor feel their business will be harmed in any way, they can make application to address council.
Findlater adds the Mobile Vending Policy was necessary to allow the municipality to get into the mobile vending business.
He says there is a large demand for mobile vendors, particularly close to beaches and parks.
Findlater expects the municipality to license a number of vendors this year.
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