Food truck vote splits Council, second vote Sept. 13

Asheville City Council members voted 4-3 to allow food trucks in the downtown business district. The split vote means that Council must take a second vote on Sept. 13 in order to enact the ruling.

After a public hearing on the issue, Council member BIll Russell made the motion to allow food trucks. Gordon Smith seconded.

Vice Mayor Brownie Newman, citing concerns about noise, tried to add an amendment restricting food-truck hours to no later than 11 p.m. if the operator uses a generator (2 a.m. if not), but dropped it after Cecil Bothwell got support for instead requiring downtown food trucks to have electrical plug ins — instead of generators. With Bothwell’s amendment, Council members voted 4-3 in favor of letting the mobile kitchens operate downtown.

Noting concern about fees, Bothwell voted against food trucks. Mayor Terry Bellamy and Jan Davis also opposed them. Russell, Esther Manheimer, Smith and Newman voted for them.

Stay tuned for more details about the food-truck public hearing, Council members’ comments, and what rules were included in the measure that passed.

In other actions, Council members:

• approved a zoning request that will allow construction of a Dollar General store on Smokey Park Highway.

• proclaimed Asheville a “Transition Town,” the 88th in the U.S.

• heard a report from Advantage West about green jobs, support for such projects as Blue Ridge Food Ventures and other topics related to the local economy.

• reviewed the city’s Strategic Operations Report, which noted such data as a 58 percent reduction in traffic accidents at key intersections in the city.

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About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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