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City Council unanimously approves food truck ordinance

City Council unanimously approves food truck ordinance

The Spokane City Council voted 7-0 Monday night to adopt two ordinances regulating food trucks within city limits.

In May, the city began looking into regulating the growing industry in Spokane. They drafted an ordinance but some food truck owners weren't happy with what they came up with.

The first draft of the ordinance called for a mobile food vending permit, the cost $40 plus $10 for each additional location. It also required truck owners to get permission from businesses if they planned to operate within 75 feet of them.

After hearing from truck owners, the city set up a meeting between all parties involved.

They group made up of the Greater Spokane Food Truck Association, restaurant owners and the city decided to amend the proposal.

The ordinance that passed, requires a $60 permit fee, and mobile food venders must have permission from established businesses within 50 feet.

"I'm super excited about it, I'm really elated that the city worked with us," president of the Greater Spokane Food Truck Association Joile Farral said. "We got a lot done, there was a lot of compromise, there was a good solution and that it was passed."

Last call for the Daiquiri Factory

Last call for the Daiquiri Factory

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office has moved forward with the eviction of the Spokane Downtown Daiquiri Factory from its Wall Street location Monday morning.

During the eviction, deputies posted a sign on the front door, addressed to Jamie's LLC, Daiquiri Factory owner Jamie Pendleton, that the business was evicted from the building and "You no longer have the right to enter this dwelling or go onto this property. If you do, you will be charged with criminal trespass, first or second degree."

Deputies stood by as FPA Crescent changed all the locks on the doors.

"We make sure the premises is safe, that there's nobody in there, nothing like that and then we turn that over to the property owner," Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Gregory said.

Todd Reuter, the attorney for FPA Crescent, the company that owns the property, said Monday morning that Pendleton had asked by written note his items be placed in storage. Reuter added that his client has the option to pursue more than $50,000 in claims against Pendleton.

Court orders Daiquiri Factory eviction to proceed

Court orders Daiquiri Factory eviction to proceed

The controversial Spokane Downtown Daiquiri Factory will be kicked out of its Wall Street space after the bar's attorney tried to put up a fight in court Thursday to stall the eviction but was ultimately unsuccessful.

On Monday the bar was served an eviction notice and given three days to move out, but the bar's lawyer filed a motion asking for a bond to be allowed to stay.

The business has left a strong impression on the community since it opened, first for drawing criticism for a drink that mocked date rape, then a trademark infringement suit brought on by Gonzaga University and finally an eviction notice from their landlord due to unpaid rent.

Last week, a judge ordered an eviction because the bar owed more than $2,000 in unpaid rent but the business didn't go easily.

"We didn't expect them to just move out, they are obstinate and I think they have demonstrated that in a number of ways including the controversy with their drinks and all the litigation against them," Todd Reuter, attorney for the landlord, said.

City council working to find balance between Uber, Lyft and taxi companies

City council working to find balance between Uber, Lyft and taxi companies

Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft have been operating in Spokane for a short time, but local taxi owners are calling them illegal.

Before the most common way to get a ride was by hailing down a cab. Now you can find a ride-sharing car on your smartphone and get someone to pick you up, leaving some taxi drivers saying its not fair since Uber and Lyft don't follow the same rules as taxi companies do.

Zachary Kelty drives for Lyft and Uber using his Honda Civic. Both companies use apps to connect drivers with people who need a ride, but some taxi drivers want to put the brakes on them.

"You can't just walk into an industry and do anything you want with it," Bill Boomer, owner of Bill's Friendly Cabs said.

Boomer has owned his cab company for the last seven years and he's not happy with ride-sharing companies coming onto his turf. Since Uber and Lyft arrived in Spokane, Boomer said business at some smaller cab companies is down 50-percent, and his company has taken a hit as well.

"I'm going to say I'm down 15-percent," he said.

Competition isn't the thing that bothers him.

Will recreational marijuana supply meet public's demand?

Will recreational marijuana supply meet public's demand?

Recreational marijuana is being grown right now and will hit retail store across Washington in early July but will there be enough to go around?

"This strain is called Train Wreck, it's being harvested today," said Scott O'Neil with Pacific Northwest Medical, as he trimmed a 12" long 1/4 lb. marijuana bud.

Right now O'Neil works in the medical marijuana field but in two weeks he'll be on his own.

"And we'll be selling recreational marijuana," O'Neil added.

He hopes his new store will be the first recreational marijuana store to open in Washington; O'Neil Industries, an authorized retailer of Kouchlock.

"We've secured product from a couple of vendors, definitely working on getting more. The product we have right now is probably going to last a couple days," said O'Neil.

O'Neil said some producers are already sold out for the next year and that's weeks before retail stores even open.

That supply will depend on how many growers can get up to speed in the next couple of months. In hopes of building clientele early O'Neil says he's going for as much variety as he can get his hands on.

Marijuana retailers getting ready for opening day

Marijuana retailers getting ready for opening day

In a little over three weeks Washington will open its first recreational marijuana stores, with only a handful of retailers to receive licenses in July.

For Scott DeKay, it's going to be a family business.

"We got our display case here. We're going to have our pipes and then sealed samples of marijuana for customers to look at," said Scott DeKay, owner of Savage THC in Clayton.

He's filed the last bit of paperwork required to obtain a recreational marijuana retail license.

"They're trying to get 20 open by the first of July and I'm still hoping to be one of those 20," said DeKay.

Dekay says getting into the first group of retailers to open will be important to start paying off the cost of setting up shop.

"They'll stand here, like I said out front, they'll have the little tray right here. Put the product in, push it out," said DeKay as he demonstrated how the transaction will be handled behind bullet proof glass.

Now that the final paperwork is done, arguably the hardest part, second only to finding a retail space, Dekay only needs to pass an inspection, pay his license fee and secure product for opening day.

Food trucks get passing grades from county inspectors

Food trucks get passing grades from county inspectors

A new report by the Institute for Justice shows food trucks in Seattle are just as safe to eat at compared to a restaurant, and as it turns out the food trucks in Spokane are pretty clean as well.

Friday morning inside the Jamaican Jerk Pan food truck, owner Roian Doctor is preparing to open for the day.

"I keep it right back to my grandfather, you know like keep it real keep it authentic, never forget the culture," he said.

Doctor knows he has to run a tight ship to pass inspections by Spokane County.

"You have your sanitizing water, you have your hand wash, you have all of that good stuff and you keep your food at the right temperature and you won't be having a problem," Docttor said.

On Friday food inspector Lisa Breen checked over his trailer. Across the county she says foot trucks are doing a good job staying clean and sanitary. Of the 32 current food trucks in Spokane 13 have no violations while the rest had minor issues for things like hand washing and not property using wash rags.