Food truck debate: Downtown Commission passes draft ordinance

This morning marked the Downtown Commission’s final hearing on the mobile-food-vending issue. The DTC has been deliberating on the matter for approximately six months. The meeting began at 8:30 a.m. in the north meeting room of City Hall and culminated at 12 p.m. with the majority of the DTC voting in favor of the current proposed ordinance moving forward “as is” to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Dwight Butner and Byron Griener voted against.

For details on the history of the food truck debate go here and here.

The rules in the draft ordinance may be revisited at a later date. Take a look at some of the proposed regulations here.

Planning and Zoning will review the proposed ordinance and then present it, along with its recommendations, to City Council, who will likely not vote on the matter until at least August.

Xpress was on the scene for the entirety of the meeting. Some of the live tweets with explanations follow below:

One of the mobile food vendors brought a generator to the meeting for the group (which included a camera man from WLOS News 13) to listen to — out in the parking lot.

@mxeat: The entire DTC, news 13 and audience is currently standing in parking lot listening to generators

@BarleysTapPizza: WLOS is at DT Comm. They must be expecting some excitement.

Those present in the parking lot agreed that the single generator was quieter than expected, though if many of them were put together, they might cause disturbing ambient noise. It was proposed that regulations be written to make sure that decibel levels are kept within a reasonable range to aid in compliance with local noise ordinances.

@mxeat: “Don’t bring your crappy generators,” said Michael McDonough, DTC vice chair.

@mxeat: Currently under debate at #avlfoodtruck meeting: decibel level of truck generators and appropriate size of trash receptacles. #hungryyet?

In response to the question of generator noise, it was once again suggested that “power stations” with utility-supplied electricity could be considered for installation in private lots.

@mxeat: It is being discussed at #avlfoodtruck meeting that we try to install stationary electrical stations for trucks to use in lieu of generators
Electric stations in private lots for #avlfoodtruck would take care of potential noise and smell from generators. Cleaner energy.

A member of our tweeting audience had a suggestion:

@_tatuaje_: @mxeat What about incentives for solar power? #avlfoodtruck

During public comment, Anthony Cerrato, owner of Fiore’s, presented the idea of solar-powered food trucks to the Downtown Commission, and also raised the concern of unregulated food trucks.

@mxeat: @fioresasheville proposes incentives for solar powered #avlfoodtruck, compostable plates and such. No real response from DTC yet.

@mxeat: “Without enforcement of these rules, all this work is for naught,” said @fioresasheville in regards to regulating renegade trucks.

The conversation continued for a while longer, until the DTC took a vote to end the session. Read the rest of the real-time report below:

@mxeat: Pretty much looks like only 10 #avlfoodtruck could be permitted for the CBD [Commercial Business District] per year. Up to 5 on one approved vending parcel.

@mxeat: With only 10 #avlfoodtruck permits issued for the CBD, how do we decide who gets them? asked M. McDonough

@mxeat: I wish there was an #avlfoodtruck to visit right now. #starving

@BarleysTapPizza: Me too.

@mxeat: Alan Glines says that we can’t limit #avlfoodtruck permits to Buncombe County residents, but we can consider higher fees eventually.

@mxeat: Enforcement is an issue, says Byron Greiner. There are already unlicensed, unregulated food trucks showing up at night downtown.

@mxeat: Call to move #avlfoodtruck ordinance as it stands and send to Planning and Zoning Commission for approval. Vote by DTC: PASSED 7-2

@mxeat: Opposed: Butner and Greiner. #avlfoodtruck

—follow @mxeat for Asheville food news


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4 thoughts on “Food truck debate: Downtown Commission passes draft ordinance

  1. ashevillain7

    “Enforcement is an issue, says Byron Greiner. There are already unlicensed, unregulated food trucks showing up at night downtown.”

    Where? Any more specifics?

    I live right next to downtown, I go downtown A LOT and I’ve never seen a food truck there at any hour of the day or night.

  2. This is just the first step. The recommendations from the Downtown Commission will now go to the Planning and Zoning Commission, probably the Tree Commission and the Public Safety Committee, and then to city council for a public hearing and then two weeks later to city council again for a final vote to become law; probably in September.

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