Adam's Rib's Rachel Nitz, left, and Jean Adams pause in their downtown Green Lake restaurant/bar. They suggest the city could gain revenue from food trucks, just as it does from permanent businesses.
Adam's Rib's Rachel Nitz, left, and Jean Adams pause in their downtown Green Lake restaurant/bar. They suggest the city could gain revenue from food trucks, just as it does from permanent businesses.

     Food trucks parked on Green Lake’s public streets may receive closer scrutiny from the city.

     The City Council’s committee of the whole voted 5-0 Monday evening to recommend the council look into drafting an ordinance to regulate itinerant vehicles from which owners cook and sell food.

     That decision followed a spirited discussion during which the council received input from Jean Adams, co-owner of Adam’s Rib.    and her daughter, the restaurant’s manager, Rachel Nitz.

     Adams asked what the city does to regulate food-vendor trucks.

     “The current statutes do not allow them to park on the streets and sell,” Mayor Jon McConnell explained. “If they go on private property then they can do that. We don’t have any control over private property.”

     He added that their food preparation and sales are controlled by the state, not the city. “We have no [authority to] license restaurants.”

     The city can enforce its zoning requirements, City Attorney Dan Sondalle said, noting that if, for example, private property is zoned residential, statutes might prohibit residents from hosting a business adjacent to their homes.

     “But that’s the only control that the city has is whether it’s zoned properly or not,” McConnell said.

      “Don’t you think we should have an ordinance of some kind to protect our restaurants?” Adams asked.

     “All we can do is control public property, and we have that, where they can’t park on the street,” McConnell said. “If they’re on private property, we can’t control that.”

     “I thought this was always supposed to be like, ‘We don’t want to be a Wisconsin Dells.’ And now it’s like, ‘Bring in the food vendors. Bring in the trucks,’” Adams said. ...

     To read the entire story, see the July 4, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.