Mobile Food Units (Food Trucks)

The Cottage Grove City Council passed Ordinance 1045 on October 6, 2021, which set forth the following rules and regulations for mobile food unit operation in the City of Cottage Grove. For complete information about mobile food unit operation in Cottage Grove, please see the operating and performance standards established in our City Code. If you have any questions, please email


In order to operate in the City of Cottage Grove, a mobile food unit must meet the following standards. 

  • Licensed by the State of Minnesota and/or Washington County.
  • Licensed or registered with the City of Cottage Grove and paid the required annual Industrial Park licensing fee of $350 or daily Residential registration fee of $20, as outlined in the City's Fee Table and on the licensing application. A maximum of five (5) mobile food units will be licensed per year. 
  • Obtained written consent of the property owner.
  • Meeting State Fire Code requirements.
  • Have the following forms of insurance by an insurance company authorized to do business in the State of Minnesota:
    • Commercial general liability insurance, with a limit of not less than one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) each occurrence and a general aggregate limit of not less than two million dollars ($2,000,000.00).
    • Automobile liability insurance with a limit of not less than one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) combined single limit covering the vehicle licensed as a mobile food unit, and if applicable, any vehicle used in conjunction with the mobile food unit  .
    • If the mobile food unit will be operated on public property, including public right-of-way, the City shall be named as a certificate holder and as an additional insured, and must be provided with a certificate of insurance.


A mobile food unit may only operate in the locations and under the conditions set forth below. Please see maps of zoning districts at the bottom of this page. 

  • Industrial Zoning Districts: with the written consent of the property owner.
  • Residential Zoning District: with the written consent of the property owner, only for the purpose of private catering (such as a private graduation party or wedding), and not for sales to the general public. Units may only be at any given residential location once per calendar year. 
  • Right-of-way immediately adjacent to a consenting property owner as long as it does not create a public safety hazard.
  • Any locations if in conjunction with a City authorized event, either through a special event permit or other permit that has been authorized by the City, and with permission from the event sponsor. These authorized units are not subject to the distance requirement. 
  • Government property: with the permission of the government entity or agency controlling the property through a permit, agreement or other approval process. 
  • Mobile food units must be located a minimum of 300 feet from the front door of a permanent food establishment. Prohibited areas are outlined in yellow in the maps below. 

A mobile food unit may NOT operate in the following locations. 

  • Any street posted with no parking signs or on any street with a posted speed limit greater than thirty (30) miles per hour, except with an event permit.
  • Any location that may cause a safety hazard for other vehicles, pedestrians, or the general public.
  • Any of the business districts unless they are part of a City approved event.

Performance Standards

A mobile food unit owner/operator is subject to the following performance standards. 

  • May only conduct sales between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
  • Waste generated must be transported out of the City and disposed of in accordance with all Federal, State, and local regulations. Grey water may not be drained into City stormwater drains.
  • The owner/operator of the mobile food unit shall be responsible for the conduct of their employees and agents while operating a mobile food unit.
  • A mobile food unit is not required to obtain a sign permit from the City. However, no additional signage is permitted beyond that which is on the mobile food unit unless it meets the following requirements:
    • One single sandwich board style sign is permitted per mobile food unit.
    • The maximum sign size is eight (8) square feet.
    • The sign must be placed on the ground and within ten feet (10') of the mobile food unit.
    • The sign must not be placed in a manner that hinders passage upon any sidewalk.
    • The sign must not be placed within the improved travel surface of the public right-of-way except with the express written permission of the City.
    • The sign cannot project from the mobile food unit or be mounted to the roof of the mobile food unit.
  •  Mobile food units and any associated equipment must be maintained and operated in a safe, working condition at all times and in a manner which minimizes noise, exhaust and odors impacting the public and surrounding public and private properties.

The operation of any mobile food unit which fails to meet the standards of safety established by the laws of the State or the City, operates in a manner that creates a threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the public, or fails to obey a lawful order of law enforcement or licensing personnel, shall be discontinued until such time as the deficiency is eliminated. 

Inspections & Enforcement

A mobile food unit operating in the City is subject to inspection by City officials. Failure to meet any of the requirements above shall result in an immediate order to correct or cease operations by the Cottage Grove Public Safety Department.

  1. Business Park Zoning Districts
  2. Almar Village
  3. Gateway North
  4. Jamaica and East Point Douglas
  5. Junction 70 Grill

Mobile food units may be located within the boundaries below, with the written consent of the property owner.

Zoning District Map