DEARBORN HEIGHTS — The Dearborn Heights City Council has approved a temporary process for food licenses just in time for Ramadan.
The ordinance put forth by Corporation Counsel Gary Miotke was to allow for temporary, mobilized food facilities.
The motion was put forward by Councilman Bob Constan and seconded by Councilman Ray Muscat.
Council Chairman Dave Abdallah said this is similar to a business hosting a “soft opening.”
“The objective of this is to have a trial basis just like in any kind of business where you’d have a soft opening,” he said. “This is a chance for us to try it out, work out all the kinks, see what works and what doesn’t work, so this way, when we put together a formal ordinance eventually, it’ll be put together in a way where we’ve worked out all the kinks and all the negatives and we’ll continue with all the positives.”
Councilman Mo Baydoun had opened a food truck in 2014 called Heights Hotdogs in the parking lot of Lava Lounge I and he said any vendors who would want a temporary permit would need to be approved by the county, submit a $500 bond that is eligible to be returned if the vendor cleans up after themselves, would need to pay a $100 inspection fee, a $250 license fee valid for one year, submit to a background check and would have to comply with location restrictions.
The permit itself will be valid for 45 days. The 45 days will begin after March 30, when the City Council selects the vendors it will allow to have permits, meaning vendors have until March 30 to apply for a permit.
Baydoun also said there’s not a set number of vendors who will be approved; it just depends on how many apply and how many the Council approves, especially with many city events and festivals scheduled for the next couple of months.
“We haven’t adopted a permanent resolution because we are making sure we do our due diligence to ensure that everything is done safely and fairly,” he said. “We want to do this in a way where we are still being mindful of our small business owners and competition, things like that. Dearborn Heights is not allowing anyone to open tents or things like that and we are taking precautions and procedures seriously to know that people are in the right places and who are coming in and out of the city.”
The city plans to host at least one more study session and possibly a full town hall to discuss the progress and the concerns with the resolution before deciding on what regulations should be in a more permanent ordinance.
The decision comes shortly before Ramadan, during which some businesses have shown interest in staying open at night as there is a Ramadan event held in Dearborn every year.
For more information or to apply, vendors are encouraged to visit the city’s website at https://www.ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us,