City updates policies to encourage food trucks and sidewalk activity

Food trucks can apply to vend in public parking spaces

May 24, 2019 - by Darby Cowles, Planning and Community Development

The City of Bellingham announced today the recent approval of a new ordinance and Food trucks were previously only permitted on private property within commercial districts and were prohibited from locating on-street unless associated with a specific permitted event. Under the new changes, food trucks may apply to vend in public parking spaces, provided they gather support from nearby businesses (including any existing eating establishments within 50 feet). This includes the ability to reserve an already-permitted space outside of City Hall.

“Creating smart, flexible permitting for food trucks will finally allow for the vibrant street vending scene we know people want to see Downtown,” Mason Luvera, communications director for the Downtown Bellingham Partnership, said.  “We have amazing food trucks and vendors in Bellingham, and we receive constant requests to see more of them downtown. We're excited for that to happen.”

Trucks may not infringe on the normal flow of traffic and the total amount of permits issued will not displace more than 10 parking stalls in any particular district. Regulations for sidewalk vending and parklets have also been simplified and streamlined under this same guide, allowing for more creative uses of underutilized parking spaces in the city.  These changes were introduced and approved in time for the upcoming event and summer travel season.

For more information or to apply, visit or contact the Permit Center at (360) 778-8300 or

Media Contact

Darby Cowles, Senior Planner

Planning and Community Development Department

(360) 778-8389

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