A food cart pod at Living Hope Church has lost three of its five carts due to a $45,000 traffic impact study fee that the church intended to pass onto the owners.
The pod had been in business for about a year when Living Hope submitted its first land use permit in January. The application required a land engineer to conduct a traffic impact study, and Living Hope’s study determined a fee of around $45,000.
The land use permit was approved by the city of Vancouver in May, but Living Hope wanted food cart owners to help pay the fee through increased rent. Krisey’s Kitchen, Maya’s Fruits and Juice Bar and Winston’s British Fish N Chips left, saying they could not afford the unexpected increase.
In an email to The Columbian earlier this month, Chad Eiken, Vancouver’s community development director, said, “our advice to any person who may be contemplating a new use or development should contact the city first to find out all of the applicable approvals, fees, required improvements, etc., so there are no surprises.”
Winston’s British Fish N Chips announced its new location at 221 N.E. 104th St. via an Instagram post on Aug. 21. In a previous interview, the owners said they planned to leave if they could not come to a resolution with the church.
Krisey’s Kitchen shared the news of its departure shortly after via a Facebook post on Aug. 22.
“I just want answers. I don’t know where my new location is just yet but once something is set in stone I will make a post with the address of the new location,” the post said.
Maya Fruits and Juice Bar closed permanently as of Aug. 24. In a separate Facebook post, owners Donna Cisneros and Maya Sanchez said, “we felt experimented on as they (the city) tried to figure out what exactly they wanted from a food pod. We were only a year old, and with the winter months to come, we are put in a difficult position to remain permanently closed.”
Living Hope has not commented about future plans or how it intends to pay the traffic study fee now that three food carts have left.
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