September 19, 2013 Ms Susan Bedsole Community Services Director City of Battle Creek 10 N.

Division Battle Creek, MI 49014 Re: Proposed Food/Vendor Truck Ordinance Changes Dear Ms. Bedsole, After reading the article in the Battle Creek Enquirer Wednesday regarding changing the ordinances to allow food trucks in our Downtown, we are writing to you to express our deep concern of the Downtown Battle Creek Restaurant owners and the seemingly short-sighted approach being considered by the city. We do not believe food trucks have a place in our Central Business District. Allowing food trucks, food trailers, or mobile food vendors of any sort in downtown on an ongoing basis (non-special event) will adversely affect the loyal customer base, atmosphere, and business developed at great cost to downtown restaurant owners, therefore, adversely affecting the city itself. Moreover, we are extremely concerned that language has already begun to be drafted without consulting any Battle Creek restaurateurs for input, response or consultation. Our initial list of concerns regarding food trucks within the Central Business District (CBD) are as follows:. 1. The current restaurant density in the CBD provides more seats than customers. 2. Food trucks have little, if any, investment in the community and do not provide a stable tax base for the city. Every dollar in revenue extracted by the food trucks comes out of the pockets of stable and permanent members of the community. Short term profiteering could easily lead to a diminished stable tax base and dire consequences. 3. Food trucks do not have restroom facilities and their patrons utilize the facilities of the permanent businesses in their immediate vicinity. Downtown litter would also increase. 4. Food trucks plunder business developed at great expense to restaurants in the CBD and are not required to abide by the same rules and regulations, design guidelines, or signage restrictions. 5. Food trucks pick and choose the days and times to operate, enjoy the luxury of good weather, peak dining times, and special events all at the expense of downtown restaurants. The lunch business developed by the fixed location restaurants must be protected from the incursion of food trucks. 6. We have not heard of or been provided with a study by the City of Battle Creek that has engaged this topic. What instigated the need for the code change? Location is an essential element of any business but especially of restaurants. Restaurants pick locations and pay dearly for pedestrian traffic. Food trucks don't. Our Downtown Battle Creek restaurant owners have committed vast amounts of time, resources, and millions of dollars reviving Battle Creek's Central Business District and, we pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in property taxes to do so. It is completely unfair to allow food trucks with little or no investment in downtown to poach the lunch and dinner business at their leisure, nearly tax-free. We are not afraid of competition, as long as it is fair. The fact that we are in the restaurant business should be proof of that. There isn't a business owner that wouldn't shudder at the thought of a truck suddenly being allowed to compete on his or her doorstep at a fraction of the cost. What's next? Beer truck? Bike truck? Attorney truck? Cereal Truck? We are not being greedy. We are intensely interested in the job security of hundreds of Battle Creek residents, our survival, and that of the CBD. Those of us that are still downtown have survived the recession, four years of downtown infrastructure construction, and recent bridge construction and closures. We were told that the 30+ million dollar investment was and long-term strategy to attract other unique restaurants and businesses. We fail to see the need for infrastructure improvement for restaurants with wheels. Now, we face a proposed change to the ordinances to allow food trucks to undercut our business model. This change in the rules may just cut us off at the knees. Unbelievably, no one bothered to ask any of one us what we may have thought about this proposal that we now understand has been being considered for over two years. We had to read about it in the newspaper. We look forward to discussing this further with you and with the members of the City Commission. Yours truly, Downtown Battle Creek Restaurant Owners: Ross Simpson - Clara's on the River, Paul Conkey - Griffin Grill and Pub, Jeff Samson - Malia Mediterranean Bistro, Donnie Fields - Brownstone Coffeehouse, Victor Einhardt - Subway, Eric Kitchen - Schlotzkey's, Jodi Lubis - Pastrami Joe's cc: Mayor Susan Baldwin, Vice-Mayor Elizabeth Fulton, Commissioners: Mary Lou Ramon, Lynn Ward Gray, Sherry Sofia, Jeff Domenico, Andy Helmboldt, David Walters, Mark Behnke

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