COLUMBUS, Ohio (WMCH) — The Columbus City Council is considering two proposals from the Columbus Department of Public Safety that would add restrictions on mobile food vendors and community noise in the Short North.
The proposal pertaining to food vendors would limit their hours of operation, requiring vendors to close by 2 a.m. instead of 3 a.m. Proposed restrictions come after several crimes were committed in the Short North this past summer, including fatal shootings.
Councilmembers Rob Dorans and Emmanual Remy listened Wednesday to concerns from locals on both sides of the argument.
DPS said it has noticed multiple businesses serving past the 3 a.m. cut off time, leading to potentially dangerous situations. DPS said it’s not only crime they’re worried about, but overall safety.
“In regards to mobile food vendors, the mobile food vendors are normally very close to bars and in close proximity to other vendors,” said CPD Sgt. Joseph Curmode from the Short North Crime Interdiction Program. “Normally they are right at intersections causing pedestrians to stand in the roadway, directly at crosswalks.”
Community members expressed concern about the future of some of their favorite late night food spots, even vendor owners.
“We sell food, not alcohol,” said one local vendor. “We do not get those guys intoxicated and push them to start the violence. We are mobile restaurants and its not right to single our group of restaurants and blame us for the violence.”
One student from the Ohio State University said he and his friends visited the Short North on two different occasions, speaking to locals about the proposal.
“Save the street meat, that was literally like universal,” said Larkin Cleland.
The council has tentatively scheduled their next hearing for Dec. 6.