Algonquin Café will be allowed to have a food truck in Brendale Square this year after all.
At its regular meeting on April 26, Huntsville council decided that the owner’s application to place a food truck in that location would have to wait until after the Town’s business licensing bylaw had been reviewed by Huntsville council in May. Just two days later, at the April 28 general committee meeting, councillors reversed that decision.
The bylaw only permits one food truck per non-restaurant property. In 2020, Algonquin Café had been granted an exemption for a food truck at 6 John Street, where The Thai Hut already has a food truck. Licences of occupation for food trucks run from May 1 to October 31, so new approval was needed for 2021.
“I spoke with Walter [Grys, Algonquin Café owner]… and I think he really did get caught up in a different discussion [about food trucks],” said Mayor Karin Terziano.
Councillor Jason FitzGerald, who had put a motion on the floor Monday night which would have allowed Algonquin Café’s application to move forward while council debated the municipality’s food truck policy, said on Wednesday, “For me it seemed that the application was so far along in the process that it didn’t seem fair and just for us to hold that application up in a change in the way we do things with our bylaws.”
Monday night’s discussion was prompted by a request from chief bylaw enforcement officer Andrew Stillar asking council to give him the authority to approve more than one food truck on a property. Councillor Bob Stone tried to amend that motion to prohibit exemptions to the licensing bylaw within 300 metres of the Downtown Huntsville BIA. By Wednesday, he’d had a change of heart, at least as far as Algonquin Café was concerned.
“I apologize to Walter of the Algonquin Café for the way that we handled it,” said Stone. “It was caught up in a different conversation, and he is a good steward of business and he has a brick-and-mortar store and I wish him well.”
The motion is expected to be ratified at the next regular council meeting, but in the meantime the vendor has been permitted to set up for the 2021 summer season.
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