Food Truck discussion continues Oct. 18 City Council Meeting

17 Oct Food Truck discussion continues Oct. 18 City Council Meeting

Over the past several months, the towns of Port Royal, Bluffton and Hilton Head Island and the Beaufort County have been considering amending ordinances to make it easier for entrepreneurial food truck vendors to work in our jurisdictions.

After two work sessions, and discussions in between with effected parties, the City Council will consider an ordinance this evening at our regular city council meeting.

I like the idea of food trucks operating in our City as long as they are safe,  do not create congestion in the core city and compliment existing food vendors operating in the City.

If you were out at the tail end of the storm and the days after, you would have seen food trucks serving free food to first responders, utility repair men and the general public and with no charge for the food. They are already probing to be good neighbors.  But they like most businesses must be regulated and operate in an orderly fashion.


The following is the draft under consideration.  If you have not yet had an opportunity to be heard tonight is the time to do so.  The regular meeting starts at 7 PM in City Council Chamber.

ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING THE ALLOWANCE OF FOOD TRUCKS IN CITY LIMITSIntent: The purpose of this ordinance is to provide standards for Food Truck vendors while balancing the interests of public health, safety, and overall community wellbeing.

Definitions: The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this division, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Food Truck Vendor: means a person selling food from a mobile unit.

Food Truck Unit: means a self-contained, vehicle-mounted food service unit that returns daily to its base of operations as approved by DHEC and is used for either the preparation or the sale of food products, or both. This does not include mopeds.

Food trailer: means an enclosed attached or detached trailer that is equipped with facilities for preparing, cooking, and selling various types of food products.

General Requirements and Regulations

All Food Truck Vendors permitted under this section shall conform to the following requirements:

  • All Food Truck Vendors doing business in the City of Beaufort must obtain a City Business License - Code of City Ordinances Part 7 Licensing and Regulations, Chapter 1 Business License.
  • A Food Truck Vendor must be 18 years of age or older.
  • No Food Truck Vendor shall be permitted for a location in a Residential Zoned Districts (T3 and T4-HN-, new code) R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, and GR Districts (Current 2016 Code).
  • No vehicle, other conveyance or temporary stand shall be located a minimum of 200 feet separation from any residential use or residential zoning district. The distance shall be measured as the shortest distance between the nearest point of the vending facility to the closest residential property line of district. The limitation shall not apply to or within the boundaries of the city of Beaufort permitted community event.
  • No vehicle, other conveyance or temporary stand shall locate closer than 10 feet from any building or structure on the licensed property or adjoining property.
  • No vehicle, other conveyance or temporary stand shall be located closer than 50 feet from flammable combustible liquid or gas storage and dispensing structures.
  • No vehicle, other conveyance or temporary stand shall locate closer than 200 feet of a City permitted community event without the written permission of the event organizers.
  • No vendor shall locate his or her vehicle, other conveyance, or temporary stand within 20 feet of any public right-of-way or within 20 feet of the intersection of any public right-of-way and private driveway.
  • No signs or signage shall be permitted other than that which can be contained on the vehicle, conveyance or temporary stand utilized to sell food or merchandise.
  • No Food Truck shall utilize music or other noise in the sale of goods or services, which music or noise may be considered to be unreasonably load, harsh or excessive and in violation of Code of City Ordinance – Part 1 Offenses Chapter 1 General Provisions.
  • No vendor shall obstruct or cause to be obstructed the passage of any sidewalk, street avenue, alley or any other public place, by casing people to congregate at or near the place where vending items are being sold or offered for sale.
  • All lighting must be permanently or semi-permanently affixed to the vending facility. No lighting shall be permitted to shine on or into any public right-of-way or other private property, or cause any glare that could be considered a public hazard, nuisance or distraction to vehicular movement, neighboring business operations, or residential uses. In addition, no flashing or strobe lighting shall be permitted.
  • All vendors shall place a 30-gallon garbage receptacle upon site of businesses for customer use. All trash must be removed from the site by the vendor. Use of City waste receptacles is prohibited. The entire area within a 25-foot radius must be maintained clean of debris.
  • All merchandise, goods, wares or food shall only be displayed or offered for sale from the vendor’s vehicle, other conveyance or temporary stand.
  • All vehicles, other conveyance or temporary stands shall be equipped with at least one 2A-40 BC fire extinguisher.
  • At the conclusion of business activities, the vendor shall clean all debris, trash and litter generated by the vendor’s business activities.
  • No portion of the vendor’s inventory, sales equipment, or any other structure or equipment used in the sales or solicitation process shall be left overnight upon any unenclosed portion of any lot or site within the City of Beaufort.
  • All sales must be made directly from the permitted Food Truck.
  • Food Truck trailers, coolers may not be placed on the ground, nor any tables and chairs shall be  staged for the customers. Generators must be attached to the Food Truck and are required to be whisper or quiet and produce no more than 75 decibels (DB).
  • The entire Food Truck vending operation must be fully mobile.

Health Regulation

All Food Truck Vendors selling food and/or drinks which are not prepackaged shall obtain all necessary County and State Health permits before a Business License will be issued and shall comply with all laws, rules and regulations regarding food handling, and all vehicles used for the sale of food shall comply with all the laws, rules and regulations respecting such vehicles as established by the State of South Carolina.

Vending Permit Application Process and Fees

The Business License staff will review applications for completion and no applications will be accepted unless deemed complete. All procedures for obtaining a Business License will be followed for applications and enforcement of Food Truck vending permits.

  • All Food Truck vendors must submit the appropriate food vendor program fee as outlined in this Ordinance.
  • The Business License fee is a separate fee and cannot be refunded.
  • The permitting fee for each Food Truck is $200.00 annually.
  • Fees are subject to change with City Manager approval.

Parking, Allowable Vehicles and Designated Areas

  • Allowable vehicles include trucks and trailers for parking spaces in which service is provided to customers through the side of the vehicle at the sidewalk only. Canteen trucks that require or encourage standing in the street or behind the vehicle are not allowed.
  • Trucks or trailers must be sized to fit into the parking spaces.
  • Vending at designated public Food Truck zones will be allowed at the times listed. No vending operations shall take place outside the hours noted
  • 500 Carteret Street and Bladen Street parking area locations daily, 8am-3pm only
  • No Food Trucks are allowed on Bay Street, West Street, Scott Street or in the Point Residential Neighborhood of the City.
  • All other Food Truck zones must be approved by the City’s Planning and Zoning regulations.


Sunday 8:00am – 12:00am
Monday - Thursday 8:00am – 12:00am
Friday 8:00am – 12:00am
Saturday 8:00am – 2:00am
  • Food Trucks on Private Property – A written agreement from the property owner/manager with regard to the time(s) and location of use of the premises must be provided with the application.
  • If any area is closed for an emergency or other permitted activity, no vendors will be allowed to set up. Areas will be monitored for compliance and any violation could result in a permit being suspended or revoked. The City’s parking management company will notify permitted participants of any planned special event that would close the area.

Insurance Requirements

The Food Truck vendor shall be required to secure and maintain a policy of Automobile Liability Insurance coverage issued by a company authorized to do business in the state of South Carolina. The amounts of liability required is $1,000,000 for injury and/or death of any person(s) in any one incident and $1,000,000 for property damage, and the policy must list the City of Beaufort as an additional insured.

Violations, Suspensions/Revocations

The City Manager may suspend or revoke any permitted participant in the event that:

  • The use of conditions under which the Food Truck/trailer is being operated or maintained is detrimental to the public health, welfare or materially injurious to property or improvements in the vicinity;
  • The property is operated or maintained so as to constitute a nuisance;
  • The use is operated in violation of the conditions permitted
  • Any violation of applicable law;
  • All violators will be subject to a fine of $100.00 and suspension/revocation of permit.

Prohibited Items

  • Radio or sound amplified devices;
  • Flashing signs or signs that move or give the appearance of moving;
  • Sign, menu board, table, chairs, waste receptacle or other objects in the roadway or sidewalk;
  • The sale of merchandise or any other article other than food;
  • Water, sewer, gas or electrical connections to a building;
  • Permitted participants must ensure no pollutants including waste/grease, liquids wastes, gray water garbage/debris, and other materials are discharged to the City’s storm drainage.

Renewal Process

Food Truck permits expire on December 31st of each calendar year with annual renewals subject to administrative review, modification (if necessary) and approval.