Scottsdale debating bringing back ice cream trucks

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Everyone loves ice cream, but now the cold treats are stirring up a fiery debate in one Valley city. 

Ice cream trucks are currently banned in Scottsdale, and have been for decades, but now a local teen has enlisted the help of the Mayor to try to change that.

Seventeen-year-old Leo Blavin had the idea to start his own ice cream truck business last year, but was shocked to learn he wouldn't be able to operate the truck in his own city.

Scottsdale decided to ban mobile food trucks in the 1970s because of concerns that the trucks were being used as fronts for drug operations.

Not to be deterred, Blavin contacted Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane.

“Such a simple family tradition like the ice cream truck, I just never would expect for something like that to be illegal,” said Blavin.

Mayor J.M. "Jim" Lane was responsive and got to work on an ordinance that would lift the ban.

"It's a great way to bring neighborhoods together in a lot of ways," said Lane.

The ordinance as it is currently drafted would require vendors to be licensed and undergo background checks. And would only allow operation from sunrise to sunset. Vendors would also be prevented from selling ice cream in commercial parts of Scottsdale.

Not everyone, however, is excited about being able to buy ice cream just outside their front door.

Ed Lisoger was one of more than a dozen people who showed up at a recent meeting to protest the possibility of ice cream trucks returning to Scottsdale.

"It's not like we're sitting outside on a Saturday afternoon saying, 'gee, I wish we had an ice cream truck'," said Lisoger.

He says neighbors have concerns about safety and crime.

“Now the city of Scottsdale wants to literally invite strangers into neighborhoods under the guise of ice cream trucks, we don’t need it,” Lisoger proclaimed.

As the debate heats up, Mayor Lane said he’ll keep both sides in mind when trying to resolve the issue.

“I think it’s got good prospects, but at the same time we do want to make sure the community is with us on this, we don’t want to be frightening anyone or causing anyone to be awake at night over this,” Lane said.