Mobile Food Units (aka "Food Carts")
Within the city limits of Oregon City, mobile food units or "food carts" are regulated by Oregon City Municipal Code (OCMC) 17.54.115. The provisions do not apply to indoor mobile food units or mobile food units allowed pursuant to a special event permit issued by the City.
- Review is required by the Planning Department and Public Works. Contact the Planning Department for further information at 503-722-3789. More details are provided below.
- Temporary Structures located on private commercial property such as pop-up canopies and tents require Planning Division approval through the Type I Minor Site Plan review process. Contact the Planning Department for further information at 503-722-3789.
- Permanent Units located on already approved food cart sites (i.e., Corner 14) require Planning Division approval through the Type II Minor Site Plan and Design Review application process. Contact the Planning Department for further information at 503-722-3789.
- Permanent Units located on new food cart sites require Planning Division approval through the Type II Minor Site Plan and Design Review application process. Contact the Planning Department for further information at 503-722-3789.
- Mobile food units are only allowed in the public right-of-way with special event permits. In those cases, a permit is required from Public Works. Contact the Public Works Department for further information at 503-496-1560.
- System Development Charges may apply. Contact the Public Works Department for further information at 503-496-1560.
- An Oregon City business license is required. Contact the Business Licensing Coordinator for further information at 503-496-1519.
- County health department permits are required.
- Building permits may be required. Contact the Building Division for further information at 503-722-3789.
Permits for Transitory Mobile Food Units (Onsite 5 Hours or Less)
Transitory Mobile Food Units are units that remain on a property for five hours or less in a 24-hour period.
Transitory Mobile Food Units require a Type I Minor Site Plan and Design Review application which includes the Type I Main Application Form and also Addendum 13 - Transitory Mobile Food Cart (PDF). This includes a formal review by the Planning and Development Services Department. Building permits and public works permits may also be required.
Permits for Non-Transitory Mobile Food Units (In a Pod or Onsite Longer Than 5 Hours)
Non-Transitory Mobile Food Units are units that will be located on a property for longer than five hours in a 24-hour period. These have a two-step approval process.
- The property is reviewed with a Type II Minor Site Plan and Design Review application. This will make sure the site complies with the standards in OCMC 17.54.115. This includes a formal review by the Planning and Development Services Department with an opportunity for public input.
- After the site receives approval of a Type II Minor Site Plan and Design Review as identified above, the carts themselves will be reviewed upon submission of a business license application. With each business license application, a Worksheet for Food Cart-Unit in a Pod or Location Approved for More Than 5 Hours (PDF) will also be submitted. If a cart anticipates spending more than 5 hours a day at multiple locations, a worksheet is required for each location. Please note that the review will include an analysis to determine if additional system development charges are needed.
Where Food Carts / Units Are Allowed
The table below shows which zones allow mobile food units and what type of permit is required. To see the zone districts on an interactive map, go to OCWebMaps, and turn on the "Zoning" layer under "Land Use and Planning", or you can use the "What zone am I in?" App if you have a specific address you want to check.
Mobile Food Unit Zones / Permit Type Required
Food Unit Type
All Other Zones
|Transitory||Type I||Type I||Type I||Type I||Type I||Special event permit only (A)|
|Not Permitted||Not Permitted||Not Permitted||Type II||Type II||Not Permitted|
- Special Event Permits
Public Works Special Event Permit
This permit is needed for locations within the Right-of-Way. Visit the Public Works Special Event Permit page to get started.
Parks & Recreation Special Event Permit
This permit is needed for locations within City Parks or on City-owned Property. For more information, download the Parks and Recreation Special Event Permit (PDF).
Please contact the Planning Department at 503-722-3789 or email Planning if you have questions or need assistance with this process.