First ice-cream truck to get license, sell on Scottsdale streets

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Sydney Kirsch, co-owner of Leo's Ice Cream By Catherine Holland Sydney Kirsch, co-owner of Leo's Ice Cream By Catherine Holland
Sydney with Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane By Randy Office Sydney with Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane By Randy Office
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane will issue the city's first ice-cream truck license Thursday afternoon.

The City Council passed Leo's Law in April, effectively ending a ban on ice-cream trucks had been in place since the 1970s.

The first license will go to Leo's Ice Cream. Leo Blavin, for whom the law is named, launched his ice-cream truck business in 2011 only to learn that he could not do business in his own city. Blavin contacted the mayor and work on lifting the ban began.

Blavin, who has gone on to college, has since sold Leo's Ice Cream to Sydney and Kevin Kirsch, 16 and 14 respectively. They continued what Blavin started.

Ice cream trucks have always been allowed on private properties in Scottsdale by invitation only.  But until April's vote, operating on public streets was illegal.

In addition to requiring insurance and criminal background checks on operators, the ordinance only allows operation from 10 a.m. to sunset. Vendors are also prohibited from selling ice cream in commercial parts of Scottsdale, city parks, and within 600 feet of a school when school is in session. Vehicles have to carry "Watch for children" signage.
The ice cream trucks also cannot play their signature jingles while stopped and conducting sales.

What's more, operators would have to wait 48 hours before returning to a specific neighborhood, which means they could not claim a corner or a street on a daily basis.

Business owners have to be licensed, have food handler permits, carry liability insurance and other restrictions to ensure child safety.

The ban on ice-cream trucks was passed in the '70s because some residents feared allowing the trucks would lead to increased crime in their neighborhoods. Others were worried about child safety from traffic concerns to child predators.

Lane said Leo's Law was designed to balance the rights of businesses and those of residents.

"Every concern that we heard from residents during our public outreach period has been addressed in the current ordinance," he said.