14 Sep The ChillMobile on FOX 13 – TAMPA BAY
Sarasota ice cream truck owner faces rocky road over code violation
By Kimberly Kuizon | Published September 11, 2020 | Sarasota | FOX 13 News
SARASOTA, Fla. – Its vibrant colors and signs of sweet treats are enough to draw anyone to the ‘Chill Mobile’ in Sarasota.
“People are coming together as long as they are socially distanced and outside and this is a wonderful treat and celebration to have the ice cream truck come,” said Tammy Hauser.
As sweet as ice cream can be, Hauser received a code violation this week that nearly made her melt.
“He told me it was illegal for me to be parking my commercial ice cream truck in my residential driveway,” she said.
Her 1979 vintage Good Humor truck is parked in her driveway when not in use and the city of Sarasota said it received an anonymous complaint. Her options were to build an 8-foot fence to hide the truck or park it elsewhere by September 15.
“It was violating the code of having signage on a commercial vehicle in the driveway,” Hauser explained.
For the small business owner, it was a big blow. Hauser also owns Discover Sarasota Tours and COVID-19 put that business on hold.
“This is my second option running the chill mobile, which I created in March, and have been running full time to pay the bills to keep my business afloat,” she said.
The city of Sarasota told FOX 13 they do want to work with Hauser and the Chill Mobile. Right now they are giving her a 30-day grace period.
City Manager Tom Barwin released this statement:
“Our staff responded to an anonymous complaint about the vehicle and found it was not in compliance with the city code, which places restrictions on commercial vehicles parked in residential neighborhoods.
The code is in place because of the concerns of residents citywide who want to protect the aesthetics and quality of life in their neighborhoods.
The vehicle owner has not been cited, and no formal case has been initiated. The City’s focus is on working with individuals to come into compliance.
Since this issue came to my attention, and in recognition of the unique circumstances and challenges during the pandemic, I have granted the owner a 30-day grace period to come into compliance. We think this is a fair and reasonable approach that will give our staff extra time to work through this matter with Ms. Hauser.”
Hauser said the extra time gives her a fair shot at finding a solution.
“I’m in my driveway. I’m not hurting anybody. It’s not loud. It’s a beautiful, fun truck and all we are trying to do is bring joy to the children of Sarasota,” she said.