Mobile Food Vendors

NOTICE: The Town is currently considering the adoption of a Mobile Food Vendor ordinance.  This new ordinance is scheduled for consideration at the November 21, 2023 Council meeting.  The public is welcome to attend the meeting and provide comments on the proposed ordinance. Proposed ordinance.

Mobile Food Vendors include a wide variety of operators who provide food service through use of a truck, trailer, or cart that can easily be moved from one location to another.  Because they are not permanently in one location, they are regulated through the Town’s Zoning Ordinance under Section 2.03, Temporary Uses.  They are also regulated through State statues in ARS 9-485 et seq.  Vendors and other interested parties should read these provisions for specific legal requirements.

Are mobile food vendors allowed in Fountain Hills?  Yes.  In order to operate in the Town, the vendor must obtain a business license and approval of a Temporary Use Permit (TUP).  

How do I obtain a business license?  Applications for a business license are available through the Town’s website.  There is a $50 filing fee and the licenses are typically issued within ten days.

How do I obtain a Temporary Use Permit?  The application form is available from the Town’s website – – under the Business tab.  The application fee is $200, and the TUP is usually reviewed within five days.

Who reviews and approves the TUP?  The request for the TUP is filed with the Development Services Department for review and approval by the Development Services Director.  Provided all operational and safety issues are addressed, the Development Services Director will approve the TUP.  

What is required in addition to the completed application form?  The application must include a written description of the days, times, location, and method of operation (including site maintenance and clean up).  It must also include a site plan showing how the mobile food unit will be placed on the site, how patrons will likely access the unit, where seating, if provided, will be located and the location of trash receptacles.  Finally, the application must include information showing the food unit has successfully completed an inspection by a fire department in the state within the last twelve (12) months.

What length of time can the TUP cover?  The approval can be for a specific date or for up to one year at one location.

Can the approval include any limitations or requirements?  The approval may include stipulations or requirements based on the specific location.  The approval may also prohibit the operation of the mobile food unit if the location is within an area where special events take place that would block the street.

Does obtaining the TUP allow the mobile food unit to be part of a special event?  No.  To participate in a special event the vendor would have to complete a separate application related to the given event.

To apply for an application

Town's Online Permitting and Planning System  Access TOPPS