Silent ice cream trucks to roam West Kelowna streets

Mobile vendors won't be allowed to play any form of music under the district's new Mobile Vending Policy.

Children in West Kelowna may not get to hear the sound that gives many adults a sense of nostalgia.

The district adopted its Mobile Vending Policy Tuesday, with a key stipulation that caught a few councillors off-guard: No form of music or voice amplifying device shall be allowed for a mobile vending unit.

According to Nancy Henderson, director of development services, the district has received a few complaints about the noise coming from ice cream trucks and other mobile vendors in the past.

Coun. Bryden Winsby said he was shocked that complaints would be so substantial that the district would include the noise prohibition in its policy.

“I don’t want us to go down as no fun city. Music is a good thing; some loud noises aren’t bad at all. They give you a sense of celebration or excitement,” said Winsby.

Coun. Gord Milsom was also surprised.

“I just can’t see an ice cream truck going by without music,” said Milsom.

Safety was the main concern for Coun. Carol Zanon, who feared that children may run in front of traffic to catch up to the upbeat tunes coming from an ice cream van.

Mayor Doug Findlater said that the district may get some pushback from the public on the decision; however, he thinks that, for every complaint about the policy, there will be someone who likes it.

“When I was a young dad living in Glenrosa, I always hated the sound of an ice cream truck because it meant that (my kids) were chasing me, and then we were all chasing the truck down the street.”

The mayor admitted that he doesn’t mind the sound as much now that he’s a grandfather; however, he still voted in favour of the Mobile Vending Policy.

The policy offers three fixed vending location permits for the Westside: A small cart opportunity at Marina Park, an on-street parking stall option at Rotary Trails Park and an area for a mobile vendor at Westbank Centre Park.

The permits will be given out on a first-come-first-serve basis, provided that applicants meet the minimum approval criteria. Once all the fixed location permits have been issued, remaining applicants will be offered roaming mobile vending permits.