Traverse City Record-Eagle

February 15, 2013

DDA to delay Traverse City food truck recommendation

Board will take up to 60 days to make decision

By Kathy Gibbons

TRAVERSE CITY — The Downtown Development Authority will take up to 60 days to come up with a recommendation about where, if anywhere, food trucks belong in the downtown district.

During a regular meeting this morning, the board voted down a proposal proffered by members John Di Giacomo and Leah McCallum-Bagdon that supported allowing mobile food units anywhere downtown except along Front Street between Boardman and Union, and within 20 feet of any intersection. Instead, they adopted a second option from Vice Chair Chuck Judson to take up to 60 days to study the possibilities and come back with a recommendation for the city commission ad hoc committee that asked for DDA input on where food trucks should be located.

"I don't think we have one answer right now," Judson said.

The city hopes to have a new mobile food vending ordinance in time for the summer tourist season. Jim Carruthers, chair of the city’s ad hoc committee, attended today’s DDA meeting and told the board that while the DDA’s opinion was wanted, it’s not essential. He expressed concern for food truck owners and others who are waiting to see how the new ordinance shapes up before they make their summer business plans.

"We can take your recommendation or we don't need to," he said.

 The city's ad hoc committee meets next on Feb. 26.

“Sixty days isn’t that long,” Carruthers said after today's meeting. “I don’t want to spend 60 days and have them just say no.”

Watch for more in Saturday’s print edition and online.