Score one for the vendors of sidewalk curry, tamales to go or convenient between-class hot dogs.

The Ann Arbor City Council approved an amendment to city code yesterday allowing sidewalk food vendors to keep their vending permits and stay in operation on the city’s sidewalks. The council passed the proposal 10-1, with Marcia Higgins (D-Ward 4) the only member to vote against it.

The amendment had been in the works since March, when city officials threatened to revoke vending permits, citing a 1947 city ordinance that banned vehicles from public sidewalks.

The new code allows vending carts on sidewalks as long as they aren’t driven, attached to generators or left out for more than 24 hours at a time.

“We don’t need our sidewalks turned into a county fair food court,”
councilmember Stephen Kunselman (D-Ward 3) said.

Kunselman, the council member who pushed to revive the 1947 ordinance, has since been working with city officials to redraft the ordinance language to accommodate vendors while avoiding problems like loud generators, obstructed public signs, tire damage to curbs and vending carts that don’t get cleaned after every 24 hours of use.

“This provides for clean and safe activity,” he said.

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