Once the new Albany City Council takes office in January, two of the first issues it will face are what if anything to do about food trucks and basketball hoops in the street.
During Monday’s council work session, Kristopher Schendel, the code compliance officer in the police department, asked for guidance on both topics. But he didn’t get much.
The council did say he could go ahead and present proposals for ordinances he had been working on. They will be ready for consideration after the first of the year.
City law does not allow basketball hoops to be set up in the streets, but you can see them anyway, here and there. The idea would be to relax the ban and allow hoops under certain circumstances, especially since school yards have been locked because of the coronavirus epidemic.
Some council members were open to the idea as long as people setting up the hoops got the OK of neighbors. Others didn’t like it because the hoops get in the way of garbage trucks, and kids playing ball in the streets might not be watching out for cars.
As for food trucks, the city code apparently allows them for up to 30 or 120 days at a time at specified sites depending on the circumstances. City Manager Peter Troedsson said the idea would be to clarify the rules.
There was talk about restaurants struggling during the corona era, and there was concern that food truck operators be held to the same requirements as restaurants on sanitation, waste disposal, parking, and other things.
Mayor Sharon Konopa said the existing city law was intended to minimize the number of food trucks. She recommended that the law be kept as it is and enforced.
Schendel said there are seven food trucks in Albany, they must meet health department regulations, and yes, the city code already is being enforced.
We’ll know more about what changes in regulations the city staff proposes on both food trucks and street hoops when these proposals are presented to the council in written form — early in 2021. (hh)