A growing number of food trucks peddling their wares at East Hampton’s beaches and other public sites has prompted the town board to revamp the rules governing those sales.
A hearing will be held at Town Hall tonight on a change to the town code that will put 14 public beaches or road ends up for bid by concessionaires — peddlers who will be allowed to remain at those sites for the entire season.
All others will be precluded from selling food there.
Under the current law, all vendors are allowed to remain at a particular location for only a limited time. But often, peddlers stake out a lucrative public spot and remain there for entire days or, sometimes, for the whole summer season.
Increased competition for such spots, food trucks tying up parking spaces at crowded beach parking lots, and complaints from hamlet business owners about the burgeoning number of itinerant peddlers competing with their brick-and-mortar stores, as well as a desire to raise revenue for the town, have all led East Hampton officials to the new idea: leasing out particular sites to peddlers, who will have exclusive rights to sell to the public there.
A proposal Town Councilwoman Julia Prince has been working on with town attorneys, for approval by the board, will be the subject of tonight’s hearing. It begins at 7 p.m.
It designates the public beaches or road ends at Indian Wells Highway in Amagansett; East Lake Drive, South Lake Drive, West Lake Drive, Otis Road, as well as Kirk Park and the western parking lot at Ditch Plain Beach in Montauk, and Maidstone Park in Springs, as concession sites.
Other sites that may be bid on include Albert’s Landing, Little Albert’s Landing, Fresh Pond Road, and Barnes Hole Road in Amagansett, Sammy’s Beach Road in East Hampton, and Louse Point Road in Springs.
Bids will be solicited by the town in the coming weeks, and evaluated according to a set of criteria that the board has been developing. A point system will be used to weigh the proposals, with varying numbers of points earned for aspects of the proposal that meet delineated preferences, such as the use of “green” packaging materials, sale of healthy food, and hiring local employees.
At other town properties at which peddling is allowed — the Terry King Ball Field in Amagansett, and the town youth park across from it on Abraham’s Path, as well as Lions Field in Montauk — vendors will be allowed to remain in place for sales for up to 30 minutes, between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., according to the proposed legislation.
All peddlers must obtain annual peddling licenses from the town as well as required County Health Department approvals.