Coral Springs to allow food trucks on private property

After initially limiting them to select city events, Coral Springs has decided to open its door wider to food trucks.

City officials were in favor of going ahead with staff’s recommendation to allow food trucks for non-city events and on private property as well. The City Commission will make a final decision on the issue at a meeting later this year. The Chamber of Commerce, which represents businesses in the community, is in favor of expanding the program.

The plan is to limit food trucks on any non-public site to three per year. There should be at least two trucks at each event, and they should be stationary while serving food. A temporary-use permit, which costs $56 per event, must be obtained. The food truck owner must be licensed, and the location should have passed fire inspection.

“We didn’t simply open the door when food trucks started becoming popular,” said City Manager Erdal Donmez. “We want to protect our restaurants, but food trucks are very popular. We are not completely opening the door but providing a little more flexibility.”

The city has to keep in mind the interests of restaurants in the community as well, Commissioner Larry Vignola said. He also suggested introducing a policy by which food trucks will not be allowed at events that take place within a specified distance from a restaurant.

“Restaurants pay property tax,” said Vignola. “I don’t want food trucks to eat into the business of our existing restaurants that are also paying business tax. I am in favor of limiting the number of food truck events in a non-public site to two per year. Hollywood has a 200-foot policy for food trucks; I think that is the way we want to go.”

“I would prefer three events per year,” Mayor Skip Campbell said. “It is not a lot.”

It was in June 2011 that the city passed an ordinance allowing mobile food vendors within a city park. In February 2012, the city approved a two-year pilot program that allowed mobile food vendors for temporary events on city-owned property or at city-sponsored events. Last April, the City Commission approved continuing with the program.

Food trucks have gained increasing acceptance on cities around the county over the last few years. Cities such as Tamarac and Plantation have weekly food trucks events, while Cooper City, Deerfield Beach and Parkland have monthly events.

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