DAVIDSON – The increasing popularity of food trucks has Davidson leaders discussing how to welcome such vendors to town.
Cindy Reid, staff attorney for the Town of Davidson, has drafted a proposal to get feedback from the Board of Commissioners. She based much of the language on regulations found in municipal codes from food truck-friendly cities like Charlotte, Chapel Hill and Raleigh.
“We don’t have an overwhelming demand for food trucks in Davidson yet, but food trucks are not allowed in Davidson under our planning ordinance or our municipal code as it is now,” Reid said.
Davidson’s municipal code doesn’t explicitly ban food trucks, but without such an ordinance, the town wouldn’t have a way to regulate them, Reid said.
Under Reid’s proposal, food trucks could only serve food between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. on privately owned, non-residential property, like the Harris Teeter parking lot, with the permission of the owners.
Some exemptions would apply.
Food trucks at the Davidson Farmers Market would be allowed because they are part of a town-sponsored event. Nonprofit events that last fewer than three days could also be exempt. And residential neighborhoods could also invite a food truck for a private party for no more than 12 hours.
Davidson Commissioner Rodney Graham has a couple of concerns with Reid’s proposal, including a rule preventing food trucks from serving 100 feet from the customer entrance of an existing restaurant during operating hours.
“I'm not comfortable with that, because it gives a business veto power over having competition,” Graham said.
Reid has been working with town staff in revising Davidson’s municipal code to modernize its language and anticipate future issues. So when they came upon business regulations, it seemed like a good time to talk about food trucks, Reid said.
No timeframe has been given as to when a food truck ordinance goes up for vote.
Craving food-truck grub?
The 2013 Rural Hill Food Truck Rally takes place 5:30-8:30 p.m. July 26 at Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville. Admission is free, but trucks set their prices for food and drink. Details: www.ruralhill.net.