Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Food Trucks OK, with Rules to Come; Clarity of Neptune Beach Ordinance to Be Refined in a Future Workshop

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Food Trucks OK, with Rules to Come; Clarity of Neptune Beach Ordinance to Be Refined in a Future Workshop

Article excerpt

Byline: Teresa Stepzinski

NEPTUNE BEACH | Food trucks will be allowed to operate for private special events in the city of Neptune Beach provided they comply with regulations likely to be refined by the City Council within a few months.

Neptune Beach City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve an ordinance allowing food trucks provided the operator complies with city requirements including obtaining permission from the city manager.

Council members said the measure needs to be refined given concerns raised Monday from some residents and business owners about potential parking and traffic problems created by food trucks.

While the council didn't specify a date, it agreed to hold a future workshop to get input from the city's restaurants and other merchants to determine what tweaks might be needed to the ordinance.

Earlier, Neil Fallon of Mezza Luna restaurant, urged the council to listen closely to what its constituents want. A better definition of special events is needed and other aspects of the ordinance should be examined, said Fallon, adding he supports fundraisers for charity involving food trucks.

"My concern is that we don't have some sort of knee-jerk legislation here. And that we have some well thought-out, well-rounded, put together thoughtful legislation. ... The last thing I want to see is some loose legislation that opens the door down the road."

Council members also had their own concerns. They noted that as written now, determining what constitutes a special event falls solely on the city manager. Another council concern is the ordinance doesn't specify whether a special event is one day only or can span multiple days.

"We will definitely be workshopping this and looking at Town Center and giving it due diligence," Mayor Harriet Pruette said of the city's popular central business district. "Any time you deal with more traffic in the Town Center we need to do due diligence and consider a lot because we're already saturated with traffic now."

Pruette said after the meeting she hopes the council will hold that workshop in January. …

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