I like food trucks and the diversity they bring to our wonderful small city

29 Aug I like food trucks and the diversity they bring to our wonderful small city

At a recent City Council Work Session, we discussed food trucks and how they can better fit into Beaufort.  I like them and would like to see less burdensome regulations while at the same time not infringing on what the industry calls bricks and mortar dining establishments.

The health and safety of food trucks is heavily regulated by South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. At the local level they pay business licenses, collect hospitality taxes and must be located where they do not interrupt traffic and create safety hazards. Large cities allow them on the street, around museums and other cultural and recreation amenities. Then again we are not a large city do not have wide streets or lots adjacent to most cultural assets.

The current location requirement is that they may locate in a private parking lot where there are four or more businesses. This in my view is harsh as there are single businesses that have plenty of room in parking lots.

I believe we should explore locations, away from Bay Street and the Waterfront Park where we have action, to areas like Boundary Street, between Bladen and Carteret where there are vacant lots and were we are trying to grow our downtown. The area where the farmers market locates would be good site if the owners can work out an arrangement with the Santa Elena History Center which rents the lot.  Or on the vacant lot between the new Nut Shoppe which is about to open on the corner of North and Bladen.

Let’s step a little out of the box and think about how we can help these small businesses and how they might be used to attract customers to places where they can also shop but which do not get the attention they need to keep their businesses viable.

Representatives of the City Redevelopment Commission and its Economic Development group will meet with foot truck vendors to see how we can ease their burdens and incorporate them into a growing economy offering a diversity of services, foods and sites.

Do Beaufort folks want more food trucks? …Is the sky blue?

Should more of Beaufort be open to food trucks?