Veletta Lill, Executive of the Arts District, sheds a hopeful light on the possibilities of mobile food in the Central Business District.
After a number of discussions with the city we learned all the obstacles to mobile food trucks. The largest of those obstacles in downtown is an outright prohibition of mobile food trucks (not push carts) in the CBD. After discussions with the folks in the planning department and learning of the extensive waits for development code changes requested by the city council or planning department, we in the Arts District decided to go forward with a code change for our area only and to file our own zoning request change (this means a filing fee close to $4000 that our non-profit will incur). The simple change in language is attached to this correspondence. When the city accepts the zoning change application the plan commission will still have to authorize it and we will still need to go through the public meeting notices, public hearings, etc. This will take months but it will then allow mobile food trucks in the Arts District.
I am also working with one of our restaurants to secure a small push cart for sandwiches, etc. Those are not prohibited but have exacting rules and guidelines. I hope we will be able to do that before long.
It has been and will continue to be a struggle, but at least if we are successful in this zoning change it will allow food trucks to come down when they are ready. In addition, one of our property owners is very willing to food truck[s] gathering on occasion. I should say that while downtown code doesn’t allow mobile food trucks there are many other zoning categories that already allow them.