In August 2013, Inweekly published an article on how food trucks have become part of the local flavor of cities around the country (Eat Street). At a “Morning with the Mayor” session that fall, Mayor Ashton Hayward said he was in favor of food trucks. Last spring, the city put together a food truck pilot program that was approved by the city council, but no one participated in it. Now the issue is up for consideration again.
This message is from Ron Butlin, DIB Executive Director:
City Council has requested that the Planning Committee look at the issue of regulating food trucks in Pensacola. The topic is on the Tuesday, April 14th – 3:00pm Planning Committee agenda. Unfortunately, I don’t have much insight as to what may happen at the Planning Committee meeting. Attached you will find the agenda and the backup documentation provided to the Committee by staff. What you will find in the documents is:
- the action by City Council referring the topic to the Planning Committee
- a draft of an ordinance based on the example of St. Petersburg
- a copy of the St. Petersburg ordinance
- Information from the Pensacola food truck “pilot program”
My understanding is that the Planning Committee could take one of several courses of action:
- Accept the proposed ordinance language and recommend it to City Council
- Ask staff to solicit public input and craft a new ordinance
- Accept the previous pilot program and make into an ordinance
The DIB, in listening to our constituents, took the position to support the pilot program when it included buffer zones around existing brick and mortar restaurants. What was ultimately adopted in the pilot program was a simple prohibition on Palafox and Palafox Place but no buffer zone for businesses not located on Palafox.
Given that we don’t know exactly how the Planning Committee will view this topic, I believe it is important for downtown to have as many representatives as possible in attendance at the Planning Committee meeting.
Downtown Improvement Board
41 N. Jefferson St., Suite 401
Pensacola, Florida 32502