Traverse City Record-Eagle

March 20, 2013

DDA recommends locations for food trucks in downtown Traverse City

Proposal now goes to city commission committee

By Kathy Gibbons
Traverse City Record-Eagle

TRAVERSE CITY ---- — The Downtown Development Authority is recommending that limited numbers of food trucks be permitted to use three designated city-owned parking lots in a pilot effort this summer.

The DDA board voted 7-3 today to approve a recommendation suggested in part by downtown restaurant owner Dave Denison and presented by DDA Executive Director Bryan Crough. The proposal calls for no more than two food trucks to be allowed to operate at each of the following city parking lots: RB, next to the volleyball courts on the waterfront; J, adjacent to Lay Park; and B, which is where the downtown farmers market is held, though trucks could not operate while the farmers market or other events with city permits are in progress there. Suggested hours of operation would be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for the volleyball and farmers market lots, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for Lay Park, where the DDA is also recommending that food carts be permitted to operate.

The DDA proposal also calls for lower annual fees to be assessed on food trucks operating on private property, and recommends hours of operation be set at 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. This measure originally included a provision that bathrooms be provided by the owners of private property where food trucks would be located. However, the board excluded that requirement, stipulating only that trash pickup, pedestrian safety and adhering to the city’s noise ordinance should be the owners' responsibility.

The Traverse City Commission had asked the DDA to come up with a recommendation regarding where, if anywhere, food trucks should be allowed within the downtown district. The commission’s Transient Merchant Ad Hoc Committee charged with developing criteria for food vending in the city meets Tuesday, March 26, at 10:30 a.m. Members hope to come up with a broader recommendation that also covers areas outside of the DDA to bring to the commission in April, said committee chair Jim Carruthers.

Watch for more in Thursday’s Record-Eagle and online.