Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Thursday

March 21, 2013

DDA board green-lights food trucks in certain areas

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 to 3 Wednesday 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 operating 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.

Mobile food vendors would be able to use the lots on a first-come, first-serve basis. 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 farmers market lot wasn’t originally included in the recommendation, but was added before the board voted.

“Of the three lots, Lot B is the most heavily used, and of course, wasn’t included in my recommendation for that reason,” Crough said. “But it also is a highly visible lot, it has the tradition of the farmers market there and the board felt it was a good thing.”

The DDA proposal also calls for food trucks operating on private property to receive discounts on annual permit fees, and recommends hours of operation from 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.

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