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City Council moving forward with restrictions on Short North food carts

Councilmembers tossed around the idea of having food carts close at 2 a.m. in line with other businesses in the Short North.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus City Council is moving forward with restricting the hours food carts can operate in the Short North overnight.

Wednesday is the final public hearing surrounding proposed legislation where business owners and residents can have their voices heard. Previously, councilmembers tossed around the idea of having food carts close at 2 a.m. in line with other businesses in the Short North. 

But that has been reconsidered after conversations with food cart owners.

“We want to make sure that people get safely home after a night of having fun in the short north, but we also wanted to make sure there was an opportunity for them to purchase food as well,” said Councilmember Emmanuel Remy.

Remy said the basics of the proposed legislation from the city council are pretty set in stone. Within the next few weeks, food trucks that post up in the Short North could have to stop serving by 2:30 a.m.

The conversation surrounding restricting food cart hours has been going on since the fall after concerns began rising surrounding safety in the Short North when the businesses and bars close late at night. 

City council leaders have been meeting with food cart business owners over the past few months and say they have a tentative compromise on the table, which would allow food carts to operate until 2:30 a.m. instead of 3 a.m. as they do now.

Wednesday will be the last chance for any business owners or residents to have their voices heard on this matter.

“What we feel, as we've come up with a compromise solution will allow patrons in the area to grab something to eat before they head home, and also food vendors to continue to experience their livelihood,” said Remy.

The final public hearing starts at 4 p.m. at Columbus City Hall. After that, the city council is set to have the first reading of this legislation on Monday. Remy said the plans are to have it passed by the end of March.


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